The Russians before the New year has been actively removing currency and exchanged for rubles

Net demand for cash foreign currency in December 2015 amounted to $1 billion, according to a review published on the website of the Bank of Russia. This is four times less than in December 2014, and eight times less than in the last month of 2013.

The regulator notes that in December last year was not the traditional surge in demand for foreign currency associated with the Christmas holidays. “Unlike the situation in recent years the situation, when in the last month, there has been a significant increase in net demand for cash foreign currency in December 2015 compared with the previous month, net demand decreased by 20%”, — stated in the review of the regulator.

“Traditionally, the Russians shot more currency from their accounts and bought more of the currency in exchange offices in December, it was connected with Christmas expenses and trips abroad. This year this trend was not, it is because the decreased real income of the population, so there is nothing to convert,” says chief economist for Russia and CIS at Renaissance Capital Oleg Kuzmin. However, those who wanted to convert their savings into foreign currency, did it over a year, he adds.

Activity of the population on the foreign exchange market in December has increased, said the Central Bank, but on non-standard models. Unlike previous years, when the population was purchased more foreign currency than sold it in December 2015 citizens preferred to sell the currency while the rate is high: the rate of sales has exceeded the pace of purchases, says the review.

In December 2015, the Russians bought in exchange of $2.9 billion, for the same period in 2014 — $7.4 billion “In 2014, interest in the purchase of foreign currency was caused by the sharp fall of the ruble,” says Kuzmin. Now, he said, people are used to a strong currency fluctuations. At the beginning of December 2015, the dollar was worth 66,6 rubles, at its peak, December 30 — 73,2 RUB.

Aggregate demand for currency in December 2015 amounted to us $7.7 billion (vs. $20.8 billion in 2014 and $11.8 billion in 2013), says the review. Of this amount, $4.8 billion Russians are removed from the accounts, this is the maximum amount removed by physical persons of cash foreign currency from accounts in the authorized banks in December 2014. While the Russians actively sell the currency. Aggregate supply the population of cash foreign currency amounted to $6.7 billion, up 12% and 47% more than in December 2013 and 2014 respectively. “Probably Russians shot savings to cover the pre-costs,” says Kuzmin.