The yuan became the most widely-used currency for cross-border transactions in China in March, overtaking the dollar for the first time, official data showed, reflecting efforts by Beijing to internationalise the use of the yuan.

Cross-border payments and receipts in yuan rose to a record US$549.9 billion in March from US$434.5 billion a month earlier, according to Reuters calculation based on data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

The yuan was used in 48.4 per cent of all cross-border transactions, Reuters calculated, while the dollar’s share declined to 46.7 per cent from 48.6 per cent a month earlier.

The volume of cross-border transactions covers both the current and capital accounts.

China has long been promoting the use of yuan to settle cross-border trades as part of efforts to internationalise the use of its currency.

The yuan’s use in global trade finance remains low, though it has shown steady increases.

Data from SWIFT showed that the yuan’s share of global currency transactions for trade finance rose to 4.5 per cent in March, while the dollar accounted for 83.71 per cent.

Source: Reuters