The Australian dollar is the fifth most traded currency in the world. When it was first created, suggestions for its name included the koala, the royal and the austral. Even so, it's commonly referred to as the "Aussie" in forex markets.
$5, $10, $20, $50, $100
5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2
Chinese Yuan Renminbi
The yuan renminbi is the official currency of China. With the second highest economy in the world, China the top exporter and second-largest importer in the world. While the IMT approved the yuan as a major world currency in 2015, a recent steep drop in value has jeopardised it being used as a reserve currency.
Chinese Yuan Renminbi
yuán (元,圆), jiǎo (角), fēn (分)
¥0.1, ¥0.5, ¥1, ¥0.2, ¥2, ¥5, ¥10, ¥20, ¥50, ¥100
¥0.1, ¥0.5, ¥1
Here’s how you can find the best* AUD/CNY exchange rate when you need to send money to China.
When you send money to China or any other country, the exchange rate is a crucial factor that determines the cost of your transaction. The higher the AUD/CNY exchange rate that applies to your transaction, the better value for money you will get.
However, there are two factors you need to take into account when searching for the best exchange rate:
When you send your transfer. Exchange rates fluctuate all the time, so you need to send your transfer when the AUD/CNY rate is at its highest.
The transfer provider that handles the transaction. Transfer companies make a profit by adding a margin to the price of the foreign currency they sell to you. By comparing exchange rates between transfer providers, you can find the highest available rate.
Send money from Australia to China
The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.
Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.
Australian dollar to Chinese renminbi exchange rate history
The Australian dollar (AUD) is the world’s fifth most traded currency. Introduced in 1966, the AUD is a floating currency free of any foreign exchange controls.
The Chinese renminbi (CNY) is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. China’s communist party began issuing a unified currency in 1948, with the CNY introduced in 1949. Pegged to the US dollar (USD) until 2005, the CNY now floats within predetermined margins around a fixed base rate, which is set with reference to a portfolio of major world currencies.
The AUD has historically traded at a significantly higher value than the CNY. In the 10 years to 30/05/2017, AUD$1 has traded at between CNY4.14 and CNY7.12. Australia and China have also enjoyed increasingly close economic ties in recent years, with the success of Australia’s commodities-based economy heavily reliant on Chinese demand for natural resources.
The table below shows the value of the AUD relative to the CNY across the past 10 years:
When can I find the best AUD/CNY exchange rate?
That depends on a number of factors. The following factors can influence the AUD/CNY exchange rate:
The performance of the Australian and Chinese economies
Interest rates in both countries
The demand for the AUD and CNY on global currency markets
Events that have widespread global effects, such as the Global Financial Crisis or the September 11 terror attacks in the US
With so many factors at play, exchange rates are constantly fluctuating and can move a significant amount in the space of just one day. Check out a graph tracking the past performance of the AUD/CNY rate for an example of just how far exchange rates can move.
If you can time your transfer when the AUD/CNY is at its peak, the cost of sending money to China will be a lot less.
Case study: Exchange rate fluctuations
How does a fluctuating exchange rate affect the cost of an international money transfer? Let’s take a look at the example of Liz, who wants to transfer $10,000 to China as a gift for her daughter’s 21st birthday. However, rather than sending the money straight away, Liz decides to wait around for an attractive exchange rate to become available.
When she first looks to send the transfer in June 2016, AUD$1 is worth just CNY4.73. Realising that, in historical terms, the AUD/CNY exchange rate is actually at a low point, Liz decides to wait a few months to see if a better rate becomes available.
She is soon rewarded when, in August 2016, AUD$1 has risen to a value of CNY5.11. Although tempted to send the money, Liz decides to wait a little longer for a higher rate and is thrilled when AUD$1 rises to a value of CNY5.26 in November. As the table below shows, by waiting a few months to send money to China, Liz is able to transfer an extra 5,300 CNY to her daughter.
Transfer amount (in AUD)
AUD$1 = CNY4.73
AUD$1 = CNY5.11
AUD$1 = CNY5.26
Amount received (in CNY)
Australian Dollar to the Chinese Yuan Renminbi for the last 10 years
1 AUD =
Australian Dollar to the Chinese Yuan Renminbi for the last 10 months
1 AUD =
Australian Dollar to the Chinese Yuan Renminbi for the last 10 days
1 AUD =
How do I know when to transfer AUD to CNY?
Ideally, you want to transfer money to China when the AUD/CNY exchange rate is at its highest. That is, when the Australian dollar is trading at a strong value relative to the Chinese renminbi. This means that your Aussie dollars will be able to purchase a larger amount of Chinese currency, resulting in better value for money.
However, an extensive range of factors, including things like interest rates, inflation figures, supply and demand on global currency markets and even the result of political elections, can all have an effect on the exchange rate. This diversity of factors means it’s difficult to accurately predict which direction the exchange rate will take, but you can still take some simple steps to help make an informed opinion.
Whenever possible, stay up to date with key economic news and developments coming out of China and here at home in Australia. Check the mid-market AUD/CNY rate regularly to gauge trends, and look back at the past performance of the AUD/CNY rate to better understand when peaks and troughs occur.
If you look back at the past performance of the AUD/CNY exchange rate, shown in the graph below from xe.com, you can see what the best times were to send AUD to CNY in the year preceding 30/05/2017:
In March 2017 when AUD$1 = CNY5.34
In February 2017 when AUD$1 = CNY5.29
In November 2016 when AUD$1 = CNY5.26
Meanwhile, the worst time to send AUD to CNY in the same period was in early June 2016, when AUD$1 was equal to CNY4.73.
* Screenshot taken from xe.com on 30/05/2017
How to choose the best transfer provider
Okay, so now you’ve decided on the best time to send Australian dollars to China. The next important step is to choose the best transfer provider to handle the transaction. The exchange rate each provider offers will vary depending on the margin they add to the CNY they sell you, and the difference between companies can be substantial.
There are three types of money transfer providers to consider:
Banks. The main advantage of using your bank is that it’s easy and convenient. The downside is that banks typically offer quite poor exchange rates.
Cash pickup transfer providers. Western Union and MoneyGram are the world’s best-known providers of cash pickup transfers, allowing you to send money to China within minutes. However, you need to be wary of high transfer fees when sending a transfer for cash pickup.
Online money transfer providers. These specialist companies, such as OFXand CurrencyFair, tend to have smaller margins than the banks, which usually means that they’re able to offer high exchange rates.
Case study: Bank vs money transfer provider vs cash pickup provider
Hayley needs to purchase CNY20,000 worth of stock from China for her arts and crafts supplies store. She initially plans to transfer the money to China using her regular bank, but when a friend tells her she’ll be able to find a much better exchange rate elsewhere Hayley decides to look around for a better deal.
She compares costs between her bank, a cash pickup transfer company and an online transfer company. As you can see in the table below, both the cash pickup company and the online provider are significantly cheaper than Hayley’s bank. However, by choosing the online transfer provider, Hayley’s transaction is more than AUD$160 cheaper than if she were to use her bank.
What else can I do to find the best AUD/CNY exchange rate?
Keep the following tips in mind to maximise value for money from your AUD/CNY transfer.
What can I do?
Why should I do it?
Get several quotes
The only way to be sure of getting the best exchange rate is to shop around. Remember to factor in the transaction fee when calculating the total cost of the transaction.
Monitor the mid-market rate
Check financial broadcasts and foreign exchange websites for the current mid-market rate. This will help you work out whether the rate a transfer provider quotes you represents a good deal.
Send larger transfers
Some online transfer companies don’t charge any fees when you send a large amount of money, for example $10,000 or more.
Use forward contracts
Forward contracts are special types of transfers whereby you can lock in an exchange rate for a transaction that won’t take place for months or even years. They can be very useful if you think the exchange rate may drop and you want to protect yourself against those falls.
Use limit orders
Limit orders allow you to nominate the exchange rate you want, and then sit back and relax while the transfer provider monitors the market and waits for that rate to become available.
With a little forward planning and a knowledge of how foreign exchange works, you can find the best possible AUD/CNY exchange rate and save hundreds of dollars when sending money to China.
Market rate for common transfer amounts AUD to CNY
Tim Falk is a writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors.
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