Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chinese Exporters Shun Flagging Dollar

Chinese Exporters Shun Flagging Dollar
(Financial Times – Robin Kwong)

Rising numbers of Chinese exporters are shunning the U.S. dollar or devising ways to offset the impact of the falling currency as they confront rising labour and raw material costs at home.

According to Alibaba.com, the online company that matches Chinese suppliers with international buyers, the vast majority of their almost 700,000 Chinese suppliers no longer use dollars to settle non-U.S. transactions to minimise foreign exchange risk.

“They are moving to euros, pounds, Australian dollars or even quoting prices in renminbi,” David Wei, chief executive, told the Financial Times. Moreover, he added, prices quoted in dollars were now often valid for just seven days compared with the 30-60 days common previously.

The dollar has long been the currency of choice for Chinese and other exporters around the world. However, the impact of its recent weakening has led exporters to begin questioning its place as the de facto world currency.

The renminbi, which western governments have long alleged is undervalued, thus giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage, has appreciated 6.7% against the U.S. dollar in the past six months. Economists expect it to rise 10%-15% against the dollar in 2008. …

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