The Central Bank had to sell $889 million to contain the dollar: it closed the worst February in twenty years

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The trickle of reserves started last month, thorough this February and the Central Bank closed with a negative balance of US$ 889 million, its worst score for the second month of the year in two decades. A combination of factors including persistent demand and a offer reduced almost to a minimumexplained this sales result, which led to a “new request for pardon” to the Fund.

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Though the agency was able to reverse its poor performance in its past two rounds this week, it couldn’t quite raise its head: It bought barely $53 million between Monday and Tuesday, owing to proceeds from “private investments specific”. Agricultural sales were flat for two reasons: soybeans anticipated sales to enter the “soybean dollar 2” in December and signs of Drought in the country side.

Despite raising the daily rate of devaluation this month, Miguel Pesce thus ended the worst February since 2003, when the now erroneously called “Single and Free Exchange Market” was created. This month’s dynamics are not consistent with recent history; the second month of the year is usually a surplus for the power plant, although on some occasions the agency ended up with a sales balance.

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This month’s sangria looks even better worrying if we recall that last year the country recorded record revenues thanks to the improvement in the international prices of commodities, even though it was unable to make “net own reserves”. If it is true that the Government has managed to exceed the reserve accumulation target agreed with the IMF in 2022, it has done so also thanks to the help of the “Special Drawing Rights” and having made use of a second version of the soybean dollar in the last month of the year.

“As a direct result of these record prices and the offer of an exchange rate between 35% and 40% higher than the official dollar, the BCRA has achieved a record accumulation of foreign exchange (5.019 billion dollars in September and 2.326 billion dollars in December) to achieve the objectives for the third and fourth quarters of 2022”, they explained in PPI.

“Logically, the progress of this liquidation represented a disappearance of soybeans that would normally have been liquidated during the summer, adding to the effect of drought on wheat,” they added.

The economist of LCG, Guido Lorenzo, he has declared: There is no way to disguise the lack of dollars. Without the ability to adjust the official exchange rate for political reasons, a large trade surplus cannot be expected. Added to this is the high gap that only generates an infinite demand for imports, since those who can import with the official dollar make easy money”.

Due to the interventions, the parallel dollar finished the month lower. On the road, blue fell again this Tuesday and finished the month at $375, a $6 drop from its January close. This is the sharpest monthly decline in the past six months. Since Massa’s arrival at the Palacio de Hacienda, the bill has not ended with a nominal $6 drop in a month. The exchange differential was thus reduced to 90.2%.

Meanwhile, parallel dollars finished the month much as at the end of January: both the MEP dollar and the cash dollar rose by 0.4%, well below the accumulated inflation this month, and closed respectively at $ 357.04 and $366.62.

Source: Clarin

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