By John Meyer, financial consultant. Eurasia Business News, January 26, 2022
As of January 1, 2022, Ukraine’s international reserves, according to preliminary data, amounted to $ 30,940.9 million. Over 2021, these reserves increased by 6% (+ $ 1.8 billion) thanks to Ukraine’s external financing and purchase of foreign currency by the National Bank in the foreign exchange market.
In August 2021, Ukraine was granted 1,928.2 million special drawing rights (SDRs) within the total distribution from the IMF, and in November – the second tranche from the IMF under the stand-by program of 500 million SDRs. Other related official funding was also obtained during the year, including € 600 million from the European Commission.
In total, Ukraine received $ 11.2 billion from external and domestic sources in 2021. This amount almost compensated for payments on servicing and repayment of public debt in foreign currency ($ 11.5 billion ), reported the Ukraine’s National Bank in its press release.
For most of the year, the supply of currency in the market prevailed over demand primarily due to favorable global conditions for the main goods of Ukrainian exports. The National Bank acted in accordance with the Strategy of Foreign Exchange Interventions and repurchased the formed surplus of currency to replenish Ukraine’s international reserves without hindering the market trend. According to the results of the year, the net purchase of foreign currency by the National Bank exceeded $ 2.4 billion.
As of August 31, 2021, Ukraine’s official reserve assets amounted to USD 31,614.1 million, while monetary gold (including gold deposits and gold in swaps) was only USD 1,542.9 million (4.88% of total reserves).
According to the World Gold Council, Ukraine held 26.7 tonnes of gold as of November 21, ranking 61th in the world official gold holding list (100 countries). Kyiv bought 0.3 tonnes in March 2021 and 0.3 tonnes in November 2021.
In December 2021, Ukraine’s international reserves increased by $ 342.5 million or 1.1%. This growth was primarily due to foreign exchange earnings in favor of the government.
The current volume of international reserves provides funding for 4.1 months of future imports, which is sufficient according to the National Bank to meet Ukraine’s obligations and current operations of the government and the central bank authorities.
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