Russia’s ruble collapse tied to energy prices, volatility to continue

Sept 08, 2015 (LBO) – Russia’s ruble has lost 45 percent of its value this year tied to collapse in oil prices, and volatility is likely to continue, analysts say.

With Brent crude oil prices plunging more than 50 percent, the world’s biggest energy exporter has struggled to maintain its currency. 12 months ago, the ruble was at 36.98 against the dollar. Today the ruble is at 68.79, down from 59.98 at the end of last year.

This week USD/RUB fell 1.2 percent after Russia ruled out the possibility of cooperating with OPEC on production cuts.

Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and a close ally of Vladimir Putin, said OPEC had proposed that Russia becomes a member of the oil producers’ cartel.

But the “golden age” of OPEC has passed, he said. The Russian oil industry is private with a large number of foreign shareholders, and Russia won’t be able to administer the oil industry like an OPEC country, he added.

The Bank of Russia let the ruble float in 2014, after daily interventions of 200 million dollars around mid-May, as the weaker currency helps to offset the impact of low oil prices on the budget.

Brent crude was up 0.71 percent at 47.97 dollars on Tuesday.


USD RUB ruble 12 month chart