Belarus' gold and foreign currency reserves fell by 4.6% to $7,409.3bn as of 1 July 2021 according to the preliminary data, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus said on July 7 as the population bought more dollars than they sold.
The country’s reserves have been under pressure since the disputed presidential elections last August 9 lead to a massive outflow of cash from the system. Last year Belarus’ reserves fell by $1.9bn with $1.4bn of that being withdrawn in August alone.
Since then reserves have stabilised somewhat but the central bank is still seeing outflows, BelTA reports. In June 2021, the country's gold and foreign currency reserves went down by $353.8mn (by 4.6%) following the May growth of $485.2mn (6.7%).
“The decrease in the volume of the gold and foreign exchange reserves in June 2021 was mainly due to the planned repayment by the government of foreign and domestic obligations in foreign currency in the amount of over $240mn, and also due to the decrease in the cost of monetary gold,” the National Bank said.
However, the outflow of foreign exchange to the population remains significant. In January-June 2021 Belarusians bought $457.8mn worth of foreign currency more than they sold, BelTA reports.
In January-June 2021 Belarusian economic entities bought the equivalent of $12,480.6bn and sold $12,806.5bn worth of foreign currency. The net purchase of foreign currency made up $325.9mn.
In January-June 2021 non-residents of Belarus bought $208.2mn worth of foreign currency and sold $465.7mn. The net purchase reached $257.6mn.
According to the country's monetary guidelines for 2021, the international reserves could fall to $6bn on 1 January 2022.