Use of the Chinese yuan for international payments is in decline, falling to only the seventh most used currency with less than a 2% market share, according to data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).
Swift research shows that the Chinese currency held a 1.81% share of international payments in February, compared to the record-high of 2.17% in December 2014.
The change means that the Chinese yuan has fallen back behind the Canadian and Australian dollars by value, having overtaken both in November as the yuan became the fifth most popular world-wide currency.
“The global volume of payments in yuan will fluctuate, and is actually down by value compared with last month,” said Head of Payments Asia-Pacific at SWIFT, Michael Moon.
“But the broader support by more countries beyond Hong Kong, underlining its international use, suggests the potential for future clearing centres and further development of the currency.”
Swift suggested that the recent decline could be due to seasonal effects from the Lunar New Year holidays earlier this year.
However, a HSBC survey of over 1,500 international companies showed that in the past twelve months there has been an international a 5% reduction in overall use of the yuan.
People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan announced earlier this month that the government is pressing onwards with plans for the yuan to be included in the IMF’s list of currencies with special drawing rights.