The latest announcements that the Government is evaluating give the private sector the guideline that in the coming months access to the Single Exchange Market will be even more limited: there will be no dollars for anyone.
In case there was any hope that the trend would change, that light has gone out in the last few hours with the confirmation of the Minister of Economy Sergio Massa that companies will have to use their dollars to pay for their imports.
“If a company has undeclared dollars, one way to formally put them in the market will be through imports. We want to take care of reserves without jeopardizing the functioning of the economy“, Massa launched in an interview.
October just ended with the Central Bank’s net sales for $ 498 million. In the year, the monetary authority bought $ 4.5 billion: Despite the 8,000 million US dollars liquidated in September thanks to the soybean dollar, the balance is 2,000 million dollars lower than that recorded in the same period last year, with a lower harvest in value.
The consequence of this shortage of foreign currency is that the turnstile on importers is adjusted by one more turn every month: FMyA data shows that since the Importation System of the Argentine Republic (SIRA) was implemented only 12% of the dollar orders required for import have been enabled.
The argument of “take care of reservations” it clashes with the need of the production sector to import supplies in the face of the risk of having to paralyze production, as has already happened with some automotive companies.
And the consequence of inviting importers to use their dollars to pay suppliers is that the cost of importing doubles: from $ 156 that the wholesaler mentions today a $ 307 of cash with liqui. And that extra cost will hit the final prices.
“The government continues to look for ‘shortcuts’ to avoid a devaluation of the official dollar that would restore balance“, says Fernando Marull, director of FMyA.
For the next few months, the effect of the drought on wheat could take away at least the country 2.5 billion dollars.
The lack of dollars will be a challenge for Massa and his team at least until March 2023when it is expected that the liquidation of the dense harvest will begin, bringing with it a greater contribution of foreign currency.
By adding layers to the exchange split, with different prices for the dollar depending on who requests it, the government risks bearing the costs of a hidden devaluation, which results in a jump in prices with an eye to the blue dollar and not the one. official – without taking into account the “benefits” of exchange rate unification, which for many analysts would solve the problem of the lack of reserves.
“There appears to be no reason to postpone an exchange rate hike other than the ruling party’s internal political constraint. will force us to live with the hedge request due to the fear of the exchange rate correction and the political need to avoid it“, says the consulting firm LCG.
“If the status quo continues, the next six months will be characterized by high inflation, multiple exchange rates and stagnant activity supported only by the impatience that the sustained price increase generates in consumption. even when the market is willing to finance continuity “.