In another round of tension for the market, with a rise in financial dollars and a fall in bonds and shares, the Central Bank continued its selling streak and lost
US$ 139 million in one day.
With the outflow of foreign currency, it already configures the worst start of the year since there are records:
US$ 871 million left so far in March and more than US$ 1,820 million in the year.
From the monetary authority they informed that part of the sales of the day are due to currencies that the provinces of Santa Fe and Jujuy acquired to comply with the payment of their debts.
Beyond this specific reason for the sales this Friday, the outflow of foreign currency from the Central's coffers occurs in a context dominated by drought, which conditions the liquidation of dollars by the countryside.
Total sales through the Single and Free Exchange Market (MULC) for 2023 add up to US$ 1,820 million.
"If it is compared with the same period for the years 2021 and 2022, by then
the monetary authority had a positive balance of US$2,043 million and US$236 million, respectively
," they indicate from the IEB financial group.
The only good news that the Central Bank and the Government received so far in March was the confirmation that the Monetary Fund agreed to make the reserve targets set for March 31 of this year more flexible.
The original goal was to add US$7.7 billion in net reserves -those that the Central can effectively use to intervene in the market- by that date, and now it is estimated that this objective will be relaxed by around US$3 billion.
Until now, what has been known is that the goals will be readjusted, but the new number has not been reported.
At the same time, the IMF confirmed that it would grant the disbursement of
US$ 5.300 million
that was planned and that it will be used mainly to pay the maturities of this month with the agency itself.
From the consulting firm Ecolatina, they state that of those US$5.3 billion that the IMF will deliver, "
nearly US$1.7 billion may be added to the Net International Reserves (NIR)
to get closer to meeting the goal for the first quarter."
"Although the recalibration of the reserve accumulation target has made it much more accessible, it still presents a great challenge for the BCRA to achieve compliance with it. At the current rate, it is difficult to imagine that the BCRA will be able to reverse the selling dynamics in
the MULC in the last days of March
", notes IEB.
From the LCG consultancy, they indicate that the gross reserves of the Central Bank reached
US$ 37,700 million, 500 million less than 7 days ago.
"The drop responds entirely to the sale of foreign currency by the BCRA, which
was a net seller in all rounds of the week
, averaging 100 million per day. Net reserves are thus located at US$ 1,250 million, 400 million less than the week before."
If the US$ 1,820 million in Central Bank sales so far this year are added to the debt payments to the IMF and interest to private bondholders, the drop in net reserves reaches US$ 6,000 million compared to December 2022 "Regarding the reserve accumulation goal,
we would find ourselves below US$ 6.3 billion
, although this is influenced by the severe drought that afflicts the countryside and its exports, for which reason there could be eventual adjustments to the goal for this year," LCG warns.
Ecolatina points out that "the IMF recognizes -partially- the strong impact of drought and frost, which will be suffered mainly in the first quarter, also contemplating the savings that lower energy prices will mean in relation to 2022. According to reports, would endorse cutting the goal for the end of March (-US$3,000 million), but less for December -(US$2,000 million)".
This implies that "the Government must continue to make efforts currently to reach the goal of the first quarter, but it
must also redouble its efforts from April to continue accumulating above that level"
In this sense, the need for accumulation between April and December would now be more demanding than before: "previously, US$ 4.3 billion had to be added in that period, while now it would be US$ 5.3 billion. We can wait to see how the goals will be established after the approval of the Board", maintain from Ecolatina.
The details of the new agreement with the definition of the goals are expected in the coming weeks, when the organization's board of directors makes it official.
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