Preliminary data suggest that as of 1 April 2019, Ukraine’s international reserves amounted to the equivalent of USD 20,632.7 million, up 2.1% from the previous month. The following factors contributed to the further accumulation of international reserves in March:
- First, international financing: the government received EUR 512 million in loan funds guaranteed by the World Bank.
- Second, revenues from the placement of foreign currency bonds: the government received USD 357.1 million from the sale of Eurobonds and also USD 159.8 million and EUR 5.4 million from the sale of foreign-currency denominated domestic government bonds.
- Third, favorable conditions in the FX market: the NBU’s net FX purchases in the interbank market increased the reserves by USD 162.2 million.
In March, the supply of foreign currency exceeded demand, primarily due to the favorable external price conditions for Ukrainian exports, of agricultural and metallurgical products in particular, a stable inflow of export revenues, and nonresident investment in hryvnia government securities. This enabled the NBU to purchase USD 271.7 million in the interbank FX market (including USD 90.0 million in FX interventions at the best price, USD 181,7 million at a unified rate) without influencing movements in the hryvnia exchange rate, which were shaped by fundamental factors. At the same time, the NBU sold USD 109.5 million in March to smooth out exchange rate fluctuations.
The value of financial instruments increased by an equivalent of USD 8.6 million (as a result of changes in the market value and in the hryvnia exchange rate against foreign currencies), affecting the amount of international reserves.
At the same time, an equivalent of USD 866.5 million was allocated from reserves last month to service and repay public and publicly guaranteed debt denominated in foreign currency. This amount includes an equivalent of USD 706.7 million for servicing and repayment of debt on Eurobonds and domestic government bonds and other liabilities of Ukraine denominated in foreign currency. In addition, the government and the NBU paid an equivalent of USD 159.8 million on liabilities to the International Monetary Fund.
As at 1 April 2019, international reserves covered 3.4 months of future imports and were sufficient for Ukraine to meet its obligations and for the government and the NBU to conduct their current transactions.