Financial messaging service SWIFT has reported that RMB payment volumes have fallen for the second month in a row.
In SWIFT’s ranking of global currencies, the RMB lost two places since September, falling from 15th to 17th place, overtaken by the South African Rand and New Zealand Dollar.
“This is not a stellar performance for an emerging currency,” SWIFT said in a statement. “It might challenge some analysts’ predictions that the RMB will be a top three currency by 2015.”
Though volumes overall are down, international usage of the RMB is continuing to rise. SWIFT is reporting significant increase in RMB usage in Taiwan, Russia, Indonesia, and Philippines.
SWIFT also highlights the fact that 81% of all RMB payments are still processed by financial institutions in Hong Kong, indicating that the RMB still has rather limited international use.
“Considering China’s share of 9.6% in world trade in 2010, one could say the RMB is underutilised at the international level and has the potential to develop towards a top global currency,” said SWIFT.
“Possibly so, but the US dollar is not quite threatened yet.”