Belarusians to support national currency with their savings
According to the National Bank, in November 2016, Belarusians sold cash and non-cash currency worth USD 159.3 million on a net basis. People’s net supply of currency in November was the lowest in H2 2016. Due to reductions in nominal wages in the economy, people have reconsidered the prospects for their revenues to grow. In the near future, a short-term increase in the net supply of foreign currency is likely due to year-end bonus payments and the New Year celebrations. As of January 2017, retail trade volumes are likely to reduce again. However, due to further growth in utility tariffs and cuts in soft loans, Belarusians are likely to continue to spend their savings and provide an additional supply of foreign currency.
According to Decree No. 221 of June 23rd, 2017, deadlines for the completion of foreign trade operations have been extended from 90 to 180 days for exports and from 60 to 90 days for imports. Delayed payments entailed a fine up to 2% of the transaction cost for each day of the delay, but could not exceed the total cost of the transaction. Most companies, when working with new counterparties, require a deferred payment for a period of three to six months. Due to the new regulation, violations are likely to reduce in number, so as the fines. Trade enterprises are likely to expand the assortment list due to the supply of new products in small lots, and the assortment list of exported Belarusian goods could expand, too. The new terms for completing foreign trade transactions would enable medium and small companies on the foreign trade market, exporters and importers are likely to grow in number and the geography of export-import operations could expand.