A Halt in the Frenzied Race of Foreign Exchange in Cuba

Monday, June 10, 2024 by Oscar Fernandez

After five days of rapid increases in the average selling price of foreign currencies on the Cuban black market, this Monday saw no changes for the US dollar, euro, and MLC.

As of 7:00 AM on June 10, the US dollar remains priced at 390 CUP, just five pesos shy of its all-time high. The euro has also stayed stable in recent hours, valued at 400 CUP, only 2.5 pesos below its highest recorded rate, according to elToque. The MLC, which surpassed the 300 CUP threshold for the first time on Sunday, reaching 310 CUP, also took a breather today.

Since May 16, when foreign currencies began to fall after months of steady increases, only one other day, June 4, has seen a day like today: with no changes. The volatility of the informal Cuban currency market in recent weeks has once again confirmed the deterioration of the Cuban economy and the growing uncertainty among citizens about the future and the deepening holes in their pockets.

Current Exchange Rates in Cuba

Exchange rates as of 7:10 AM on June 10, 2024, in Cuba:

USD to CUP according to elToque: 390 CUP

EUR to CUP according to elToque: 400 CUP

MLC to CUP according to elToque: 310 CUP

Alternative exchange rates from other platforms:

USD: Buy at 373 CUP, Sell at 393 CUP

EUR: Buy at 388 CUP, Sell at 401 CUP

MLC: Buy at 304 CUP, Sell at 307 CUP

The informal exchange rate provided here is not officially recognized or backed by any financial or governmental entity. So, what is the Cuban government doing in the meantime? Absolutely nothing. Neither the new Minister of Economy nor other authorities on the island have made any public statements about the significant drop in currency prices in the second half of May or the rapid resurgence of buying and selling values now.

However, there has been activity on social media, where numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have declared war on elToque. In this context, last Friday, the independent media outlet announced that it has reinforced its controls to calculate the representative rate amid growing suspicions of attempts to inflate or crash values with false advertisements.

The independent media pointed to a campaign by "government actors associated with State Security and propagandists from the Communist Party" who have tried to delegitimize the outlet and its methodology for calculating the rate since April. The campaign, according to them, has also included private sector actors who claim they can coordinate to boost the appreciation of the Cuban peso.

ElToque claims to have "evidence of actions aimed at flooding the virtual currency trading spaces with fake offers to influence the algorithm" they use to calculate the rate. The independent media asserts that they have been "transparent" from the beginning and are aware of the limitations of their method, primarily because they do not know which buy/sell advertisements they document are ultimately completed. Nevertheless, they argue that the calculated rate reflects the central movements of the informal market, although they admit that "it is inherently a speculative market."

"Neither the informal exchange market nor a service that makes it visible are the cause of the problems; they are, in any case, a reflection of the imbalances and inflation affecting the Cuban economy. The solution lies in the hands of the State and those who govern the country, who are the only ones with the institutional capacity to implement economic, fiscal, and monetary policy in the form of a macroeconomic stabilization program that includes structural reforms," they concluded.

Currency Equivalencies

Equivalencies of each available bill of euros and US dollars to Cuban pesos (CUP) according to the exchange rates of Monday, June 10:

US Dollar (USD) to Cuban Peso (CUP):

1 USD: 390 CUP

5 USD: 1,950 CUP

10 USD: 3,900 CUP

20 USD: 7,800 CUP

50 USD: 19,500 CUP

100 USD: 39,000 CUP

Euro (EUR) to Cuban Peso (CUP):

1 EUR: 400 CUP

5 EUR: 2,000 CUP

10 EUR: 4,000 CUP

20 EUR: 8,000 CUP

50 EUR: 20,000 CUP

100 EUR: 40,000 CUP

Understanding Cuba's Current Currency Situation

In light of the recent developments in the Cuban informal currency market, here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help understand the situation better.

What caused the rapid increase in currency prices?

The rapid increase in currency prices is attributed to market volatility, speculation, and the economic instability in Cuba, which has led to a higher demand for foreign currencies.

Why has the Cuban government not addressed the currency market situation?

The Cuban government has remained silent on the issue, possibly due to the complexity of the economic situation and the lack of immediate solutions to stabilize the currency market.

What role do social media and independent outlets like elToque play in the currency market?

Social media and independent outlets like elToque play a crucial role in providing transparency and real-time information about the currency market, although they also face challenges such as false advertisements and government interference.

How does the informal exchange rate affect the Cuban economy?

The informal exchange rate reflects the economic imbalances and inflation in Cuba, affecting the purchasing power of citizens and contributing to economic uncertainty.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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