China’s Forex Reserves Plunge in April to Five-Year Low

 

China’s foreign exchange reserves fell in April by the biggest amount in more than five years, official data showed on Saturday.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves – the world’s largest – fell $68 billion in April, to $3.12 trillion from $3.188 trillion in March, the biggest monthly drop since November 2016.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the reserves to fall to $3.133 trillion in April.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement that the 2% drop in April reserves from March mainly reflected valuation effect as the dollar gained against other major currencies, and changes of global asset prices.

“In April 2022, China’s cross-border funds generally continued the trend of net inflows, and the supply and demand in the domestic foreign exchange market remained basically balanced,” SAFE said.

Yuan Falls 4% Against Dollar

The yuan fell 4% against the dollar in April, while the dollar rose 5% in April against a basket of other major currencies.

Overseas investors extended their selling of Chinese shares into April on mounting worries about the impact of prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns and the fallout of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

China’s foreign exchange reserves dropped $130 billion in the first four months, the official data showed. They had climbed $33.6 billion in 2021.

China held 62.64 million fine troy ounces of gold at the end of April, unchanged a month earlier. The value of China’s gold reserves fell to $119.73 billion at the end of April from $121.66 billion at the end of March.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.