Gas ship, one of the reasons for the decline in reserves.
With new import restrictions and increased customs controls, the government has launched a emergency scheme to manage dollars. The goal, as recognized in the official dispatches, is to “get through the winter”, with measures that come just a week after Cristina Kirchner’s criticisms of the “import festival” and the “fraud” maneuvers in the private sector for take advantage of the gap would change.
Now, looking at the fine numbers, a surprising fact emerges: the main purchases abroad are made by state-owned companies. This sector imported US $ 5,654 million last year to cover its energy needs, operations which – not counting the Ministry of Health – accounted for just under 10% of the US $ 63,184 million imported in 2021, a volume that year will be greater than the global harpoon price.
According to market sources and official documents, at the top of the ranking of the main importers was Energía Argentina (ENARSA)operated by La Cámpora, with 2,570 million dollars in 2021. And this year it could double that: it has already purchased 40 LNG (liquefied natural gas) ships for a total of 3,000 million dollars, a fuel destined to meet demand in the winter , and is also responsible for purchasing gas from Bolivia.
In second place is IATEC, a company of the Mirgor group, owned by Nicolás Caputo, which produces cell phones, televisions and electronics in Tierra del Fuego, and which imported 1,468 million dollars last year. Two other joint-stock companies controlled by Kirchnerism follow in third and fourth place: the administrator of the wholesale electricity market CAMMESAwith $ 1.758 million, and YPFwith 1.326 million dollars.
Imports jumped to $ 8 billion in June, a new record after $ 7.9 billion in May. The leap is due to the economic recovery, but also to dollarization in a context of high inflation, exchange rate gaps and uncertainty. Of the total, 2,000 million dollars were energy purchasesan element that has grown at a rate of over 200% year-on-year, according to official data.
To curb the loss of reserves, the government has decided to further restrict quotas for companies and expand the list of commodities with delays ranging from six months to 1 year to access the official dollar. Like this seeks to support the increase in energy purchases and at the same time to reach the reserve target of the IMF. Even if, as the head of the central bank Miguel Pesce said on Tuesday, “it avoids a sudden devaluation”.
Despite the fact that dollars cross different paths (payment of public debt, private debt, tourism, freight transport, etc.), the vice president last week aimed against imports. In the Avelleneda deed he stated that 600 companies represent 75% of imports and 24,000 the remaining 25%. “It means that it is not that difficult to control this and strategies must also be provided“, he argued, and then asked the Executive to” use the pen “.
The data to which Clarín has access reveals that, out of a total of 12,000 cuit with imports of over 100,000 US dollars, 260 companies explained 50% of operations in 2021 and the top 50 companies 30%. If we consider the 16 main cuit, purchases amount to 14,404 million dollars, almost 23% of the total volume, explained by the state and by producers in the steel, automotive, oil, electronic and agro-industrial sectors.
within that listthere are two groups that for different reasons attract the attention of the former president. One is Newsan, one of the country’s largest home appliance manufacturers with five factories in Tierra del Fuego. Rubén Cherñajovsky’s company imported $ 1,267 million in 2021 and received praise from Cristina, without being named, for exporting fish in 2011 to offset her balance and meet Guillermo Moreno’s demands.
The other case is that of Siderar, the largest steel producer in the country with five plants in Argentina and last year bought abroad for 1,048 million dollars. The company is of The Techint group, the head of the Senate stressed last week, when he asked the government to claim from its subsidiary Usiminas, in Brazil, the 200 million dollars to import the sheet metal to build the Néstor Kirchner pipeline.
Giovanni Manuel Barca