Invoice Currency Choice in Malawi's Imports from Asia: Is there any evidence of Renminbi Internationalization?

Author Name Angella Faith LAPUKENI (Yokohama National University) / SATO Kiyotaka (Yokohama National University)
Creation Date/NO. August 2019 19-E-060
Research Project Exchange Rates and International Currency
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This is the first study that presents detailed information on the Chinese renminbi (RMB) invoiced trade between Malawi and Asian countries. By processing the unpublished customs level data on Malawi's imports at the HS8-digit level, we show that the RMB is rarely used in Malawi's imports from China, while more than 20% of Malawi's imports from Japan are invoiced in the yen. This evidence suggests that the internationalization of the RMB lags far behind yen internationalization. The U.S. dollar and, to a lesser extent, the South African Rand are used as a vehicle currency in Malawi's imports from Asian countries. By estimating a panel logit model, we demonstrate that product differentiation and market share of imported products have positive influences on yen invoiced imports from Japan, while bilateral nominal exchange rate volatility has negative effects on exporter currency invoicing in imports from Asian countries. Thus, we may say that stable exchange rates will be able to promote the exporter's currency invoicing instead of vehicle currency invoicing in Malawi's imports from Asian countries.