Currency Volatility Reaches New Heights of Uncertainty

By Andy Gage, VP of FX Risk Management Solutions at Kyriba October 27, 2021

The Q2 2021 Kyriba Currency Impact Report showed a strong tailwind for many US corporates driven in large part by the strengthening of two main trading currencies for many US corporates, EUR and GBP. Both currencies strengthened steadily through Q2 2021, but currencies have since retreated through Q3 2021, setting up a return of relatively strong headwinds for the Q3 earnings season.

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As we look forward to Q3 and Q4 currency impacts, it is very likely we will see increased levels of negative currency impacts for North American and European corporates due to continued business activity expansion combined with the return of a stronger USD and general market uncertainty.

Beyond market uncertainty, there are a few other economic and operational challenges that are adding to the complexity of managing currency risk and liquidity. With inflationary conditions starting to take hold in the US and other parts of the world, Treasurers and CFOs are having to contend with increasing supply chain costs. In addition, supply chain disruptions are heightening the uncertainty of business operations. Many treasury teams are far less confident in their long-term cash flow forecasts which has many reconsidering their hedging and liquidity needs.

How are Corporate Risk Managers responding to the currency markets and supply chain disruptions?

Treasury teams are faced with a complex set of variables in the current market environment. Their long-term cash flow forecasts are less and less reliable due to uncertainty related to supply chain disruptions. The disruptions are impacting both the supply side and the revenue side of the forecasts. There is increased uncertainty around both the value and timing of supply chain cash out flows. On the revenue side, there is also uncertainty around the value and timing of future inflows as manufacturers are having a hard time getting products on the shelves. In addition, the currency markets are adding to the complexity as the USD is strengthening or at least holding strong against a broad basket of currencies.

As a result, many treasury teams are re-focusing on the things they can control. Daily and even intra-day cash position monitoring is the norm now and combining that with an increased focus on FX hedging for working capital positions on the balance sheet are critical best practices to ensure treasury teams have the right amount of cash in the proper currency at the right time to cover vendor and supplier payments and ensure they maintain a strong liquidity position as they ride out the supply chain storm.

Treasury teams that can monitor and manage their liquidity and working capital FX exposure in a single integrated platform have a distinct advantage in the current market.

For more information about currency risk, download Kyriba’s October 2021 Currency Impact Report.

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