08/11/2020 - 19:22
They assure it in the Ministry of Economy and reconfirm it in the Central Bank: what the government wants the least is a jump in the dollar .
The concern responds to the fact that in recent days the widening of the gap between dollars and the sale of foreign currency by the Central Bank fueled the idea of some officials to advance the search for a higher exchange rate.
A 75% gap between the wholesale dollar and the so-called "cash with settlement" ($ 73 and $ 128) or the "blue" ($ 130) It has been a cause for concern in the Government and especially after the announcement of the agreement with the creditors to exchange debt bonds for US $ 64,500 million.
On August 4 and after that announcement, President Alberto Fernándezhe launched his hopeful "now the outlook is clear", but the foreign exchange market did not give him many hours of relief .
A technical issue in the purchase and sale of securities associated with the same exchange ended up generating a rise in the bonds (Bonar 2024) thatthey are taken as the basis for "cash with liquid" operations and that made the dollar rise and widen the gap.
In addition, as in all the beginning of the month, when people receive income and can, they go in search of the US $ 200 that the Central Bank allows to buy every 30 days at the official price plus 30% generating the price of the "solidarity dollar", that in the week exceeded $ 100.
Between purchases by savers and the demand for imports, the Central Bank left US $ 450 million at the beginning of August. Photo Xinhua
In the case of the CCL, these are transactions between individuals that do not affect the Central's reserves, but between the quota of US $ 200 and the demand for the official dollar for imports and payments abroad, some US $ 450 million were taken at the beginning of August. .
Either due to financial technical issues between bonds or the purchases of companies and individuals, the concrete thing so far is that the agreement with private creditors has not managed to decompress the exchange rate landscape.
The stocks reinforced by Miguel Angel Pesce with communication "A" 7030 (a milestone in the foreign trade environment due to the limits it imposes) leads companies to have difficulties in meeting their commitments abroad.
On August 8, the oil company Tecpetrol had to cancel a loan of US $ 325 million with its parent company and this Tuesday it announced to the Securities Commission that it could not do it in a timely manner because the Central Bank had not released the dollars to do so. .
The lack of response from the Central can be addressed depending on the shortage of foreign exchange and in times of pandemic and quarantine but, sooner or later, these delays end up generating high costs in the real world.
The oil company Tecpetrol had to cancel a loan of US $ 325 million and the Central Bank did not release the dollars.
That the Government wants to avoid an exchange rate jump has its foundation. Cristina Kirchner went through the experience of the devaluation of early 2014 which, in a climate of low confidence , generated relatively more inflation than relief to the external sector.
Keeping the official dollar at bay as Pesce has been doing with a scheme of periodic updates and without a fixed rule (it rises at a rate of 31% per year), intends to avoid delays but, also and essentially, the attempt to try to clearing up the expectation that an inflationary flash could come from the strong issuance of pesos in recent months.
In addition, in the environment of the Central Bank they assure that "no exporter comes to ask for a higher dollar" not even when the Government proclaims its intention to create conditions to increase exports.
In the official view, Argentine exports should grow by 25% in a few years (go from US $ 60,000 million to at least US $ 75,000 million annually) in order to aspire to have an external sector consistent with some sustained growth.
Minister Martín Guzmán wants an agreement with the IMF in the first quarter of 2021. Photo Juano Tesone
They say that with oil at US $ 45 a barrel (Brent is at US $ 44.5) , energy exports from Vaca Muerta could return and that an agreement to produce pigs for China would allow progress in the development of export niches in search of more dollars.
Meanwhile, this winter, gas imports both from Bolivia and by ships returned, which are taking in quite a few dollars a week.
The balance between the quiet dollar necessary to not ignite inflation (in August the cost of living could rise 2.5% ) and that required to increase exports (will they take taxes?) Will be a central point from now on in the Negotiation that the Government will begin with the International Monetary Fund to refinance the debt that has maturities of US $ 40,000 million between 2022 and 2023.
Minister Martín GuzmánHe announced that his intention is to reach an agreement with the agency in the first quarter of next year, presumably to avoid delays that could complicate the campaign for legislative elections for the ruling party.
The Government has the advantage that it has already agreed with the bondholders by showing flexibility and willingness to pay (it went from offering US $ 40 to US $ 54.8 for each sheet of 100, which represents about US $ 16,500 million more) and the IMF expects it, as It happens habitually, willing to talk and give more time for payment. Always with your feet inside the plate and even more so in the difficult times of the coronavirus crisis and the electoral campaign in the United States.