Russia Dumped Half Its US Treasuries Inside a Single Month, Blowing Out Yields

Russia decreased its dollar holdings by a cool $50 billion at a single stroke

Surely Moscow could have sold off bonds more slowly and gotten a better price for them — so why dump them all at once? Was it to test what happens, for its benefit and China’s?

As Trade Wars began, the rest of the world dumped more Treasuries in April than in any month since January 2016…

Hedge funds were buyers (as implied by the rise in holdings from the Cayman Islands)…they added $15,2 billion in April – the most ever…

But the biggest selling culprit was not “good friend” China who saw a small $5.799bn reduction in its Treasury holdings in April…

And while “Great ally” Japan did dump Treasuries for the 8th month in the last 9 to it lowest holdings since Oct 2011…

It was Vladimir Putin that decided to puke the most US Treasuries out of Russia ever, liquidating half, or $47.4 billion, of its US Treasuries in one month, to its lowest holdings since March 2008!

Put another way – Russia just liquidated half its US Treasury holdings in one month!

And what happened in April?

Mystery solved! Russia was dumping half of everything it had ($48bn) and yields on the 10Y rose around 35bps.

One can’t help but wonder – as the Yuan-denominated oil futures were launched, trade wars were threatened, and as more sanctions were unleashed on Russia – if this wasn’t a dress-rehearsal, carefully coordinated with Beijing to field test what would happen if/when China starts to really liquidate.

1 Comment
  1. David Bedford says

    I just hope when China does liquidate their Treasury bonds they put it directly into gold bullion as I’ve been stacking for the best part of the last decade since just after the GFC

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