08/14/2020 - 12:43
In January of this year, 500,000 Argentines bought dollars for hoarding. In July, there were already 4 million who used the monthly quota of US $ 200 with the surcharge of 30% of the PAIS tax. And for August, market data indicates that demand continues to rise, with peaks of 20% increase in the first week of the month.
In this context, analysts wonder how long the drain on dollars will be sustainable. In July, US $ 875 million went this way . And the Central Bank is unable to rebuild the reserves.
So far in the quarantine, the monetary authority had to go out to sell dollars every month - except in June, when it managed to buy US $ 600 million - to supply the market. So far in August , more than US $ 500 million has been disposed of.
For this reason, in the official offices they debate whether it is time to turn off the tap even more . Yesterday was the subject of discussion at the Central Bank board meeting. As it transpired, the position led by Miguel Pesce would be to close the stocks even more. The decision will be in the hands of President Alberto Fernández. In addition to the analysis of the political cost that the measure would have, what is evaluated is the financial impact. Where would this surplus of pesos go, enhanced by the increase in the monetary issue?
From the Palacio de Hacienda, the fear is that those pesos will go to the blue dollar and that will further encourage the gap, which yesterday touched 82% in relation to the wholesale dollar. Today the blue dropped two pesos, to $ 131 , while the wholesaler is trading at $ 77.25.
For its part, the solidarity dollar already touches $ 100.70, with the inclusion of the PAIS tax of 30%. The quarantine promoted the purchase of dollars since it made that the sectors of the population that did not have nominal cuts in their income could allocate the amounts they previously spent on items such as recreation and transportation to the hoarding of greenbacks.
The other incentive that made the purchase of dollars grow was the exchange gap. So far this year the official dollar has risen 21%, but the blue has risen 75%. This boosts the exchange rate: buy in the official and sell in the blue to stretch the pesos. At today's prices, that "mash" allows you to get $ 5,400 for every $ 200. At the peak of the July gap, the roller was making a profit of $ 7,000 a month.
Miguel Pesce analyzes whether the exchange rate will be further reduced.
With 4 million people buying dollars in July, the PAIS tax totaled $ 20,017 million -41% more than in the previous month- and accumulated $ 67,723 million in the year.
A report by the consulting firm Libertad y Progreso indicates that "24.6% of the economically active population bought dollars in June, when in May it was only 17.9%." According to the consulting firm, 2.4 million people bought official dollars in May, with an average of US $ 190, while in June they were 3.3 million with an average of US $ 193.
Until now, the Central has tried to control the outflow of dollars by increasing controls on "digital coleros" , people who buy dollars on behalf of third parties in exchange for a commission. The Central ordered that suspicious accounts be blocked and established protocols to stop this type of operation when it comes to the second transfer in the same month. In addition, it was established that those who open new digital accounts will not be able to buy dollars in the first six months.
How will the dollar move from now on?
For Economia y Regiones, "neither the dollar nor its gap decreased with the agreement with bondholders under NY law. Specifically, the blue dollar and its gap remain where they were prior to the agreement." They add that "on the other, the dollar counted with liquidity and its gap rise after the agreement. Currently, it is immensely more likely that the dollar will continue to be expensive , that the dollar will become cheaper and the real exchange rate will begin to appreciate."
"We do not believe that in the medium and especially long-term trend, inflation will strongly beat the dollar. The dollar will jump, it will take advantage of inflation, later inflation will begin to regain ground with respect to the North American currency until the dollar jumps again, "says the consulting firm led by Diego Giacomini.