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Exchange rates last updated Monday, 21 May 2018 11:17:42 AM EDT. The online exchange rates provided by this Currency Converter are intended as a guide only and should not be used for transactional purposes. All rates are subject to change from time to time without notice. Exchange rates used in-store may differ from those offered online. The Travelex online sell rate will be used for conversions from US Dollars to a foreign currency.
The lowdown on the Russian ruble
Dating back to the 13th century, the ruble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the world’s second oldest currency, right after British pounds. It was also the world’s first decimalised currency, dating back to 1704 when one ruble became legally equal to 100 kopeks.
The Russian ruble replaced the Soviet ruble in 1992, at a rate on par with each other. However, following the financial crisis of 1998, the Russian ruble was redenominated exchanged at the rate of 1 ruble to a previous 1,000.
A look back at US dollar to Russian ruble rates
Over the years from 1992, the Russian ruble remained relatively stable against the US dollar. However, by December of 2014, the Russian ruble was facing a crisis. Its value had effectively halved in the year since December 2013, taking it from around 30 rubles to the dollar to around 60. Russia’s economy had been hurt by two things: the falling price of oil around the world and economic sanctions placed on Russian countries by Europe and the US.
About half of Russia’s revenue is generated by the oil and gas industry, and so when a weaker demand around the world meant that the price per barrel fell from $110 to $60 towards the end of 2014, Russia felt the repercussions first hand.
Russia’s Central Bank ended 2014 trying to fight the tumbling of the country’s economy. First, it used its stocks of foreign currency to buy rubles, hoping to increase their price through demand. On the 15th December, the Central Bank announced a huge increase in interest rates in the hope that people would be happier to keep their money in rubles.
Neither of these moves worked, however, and the ruble fell a further 20% the next day as traders and investors rushed to get their money out of Russian assets. One US dollar was now buying 68.46 rubles and Russia fell into its worst crisis since the 1998 debt default. The ruble closed 2014 as the world’s second worst performing currency after the Ukrainian hryvnia, when comparing its performance to the start of the year.
The ruble’s recovery of early 2015
Kicking off 2015, the Russian ruble saw an impressive turn around. Between February 1st and April 16th, the currency gained against all of the world’s key benchmarks, strengthening from 69.65 to 49.92 rubles to the dollar. In fact, it was the world’s best performing currency in the first few months of 2015. This can largely be attributed to a rise in the world’s oil prices, as well as lowered interest rates and a cooling in Ukraine hostilities that once again made investing in rubles a more attractive prospect.
By May 17th, the ruble was performing at a rate of 48.67 rubles to the dollar and the world waited to see if this resurgence would last.
The ruble falls once more
By the end of May, things began to go downwards once more. The world’s oil prices were back down after China revalued its yuan, making raw-material imports more expensive for everyone – and with the ruble moving almost in tandem with oil prices, the Russian economy was hurting again.
By August 24th, Russia’s currency had weakened all the way to 70.86 against the dollar, down over 20% from its May 17th peak of 48.67.
The ruble in 2017
Since 2016, the ruble has begun to steadily regain some of its value, going into June of 2017 at a value of 56.56 against the US dollar, or 1 USD to 56.56 RUB.