German RMB Payments Value Jumps by 71%

Germany now ranks eighth in the world for renminbi (RMB) payments value (excluding China and Hong Kong), following a 71% increase between April and May 2013, according to date from SWIFT. Germany recorded the biggest increase in the top 20 countries in Chinese yuan (CNY) payments.

In May, 8.2% of payments between Germany and China/Hong Kong were in CNY, against 4.8% in April and only 2.4% in May 2012. SWIFT added that customer payments accounted for 21% and institutional payments for 79%. Customer payments are normally much lower; for example for France they accounted for only 5% in April 2013. SWIFT commented that this was “probably a good reflection of the significant trade relationship between Germany and China”. Germany accounted for about one third of China’s total trade with the European Union (EU) during the period.

“Mid last year, China and Germany said that both sides would support financial institutions and companies in the use of RMB and euro in bilateral trade and investments,” said Lisa O’Connor, RMB director at SWIFT. “Our data shows, especially in the weight of customer payments – a good proxy to imports and exports – that the RMB has gained popularity for trade settlement.”

Compared to April 2013, the RMB remained stable in its position as 13th payment currency of the world during May, with a record high market share of 0.84% from 0.69%. Overall, RMB payments increased in value by 24.1% in May versus April when all currencies only increased by 1.9%.

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