In 2022, and for the second consecutive year, the exports energetic increased significantly less that the imports: 58.9% and 120.2% respectively in relation to 2021, leaving a energy trade deficit of US$ 4,470 million.
In the last decade, Argentina registered a trade deficit energetic in 9 out of 10 yearspresenting a surplus only in 2020a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic that paralyzed international trade.
The data comes from the report Annual Report on Hydrocarbons in Argentina prepared by the Argentine Institute of Energy “General Mosconi” which indicates that the trade balance Energy has been in deficit since 2012, with the exception of 2020but 2022 was the record year for energy imports “Although it was also exports.”
Why is it that Argentina has been in deficit for 11 years?
“Argentina stopped being a self-sufficient country, an exporting country. Between 1989 and 2011 the country had a positive trade balance, that is, more exports than imports. It was a country with surpluses of various products, ”he began by explaining Jorge LapenaPresident of the Argentine Institute of Energy “General Mosconi”, in dialogue with PROFILE.
The trade deficit with Brazil was the largest since 2018
“It stopped being a self-sufficient country because since politics in the ’90s and Fundamentally since the sale and restructuring of YPF, oil exploration was abandonedwhich was the tool with which Argentina searched for new oil prospects, made discoveries and put new deposits into production,” added Lapeña.
“All this exploratory activity which is the heart of oil activity was discontinued and not exploring caused both oil and gas to decline. This is the reason why Argentina went from being an exporting country to one dependent on the outside,” said the also former Secretary of Energy.
How do you explain the millionaire deficit of 2022?
In the tax collection that was known in recent days, it is observed that a large flow of foreign currency entered the country for the export of grains, driven by high food prices What caused the war in Ukraine? However, it was also paid imported energy is very expensiveso the red in the balance is explained.
“Argentina is obviously a world-class grain exporter, so the increase in the prices of these commodities due to the war in Europe caused exports to have a higher value. Now, in energy, the country imports more than it exports. In addition, the war increased the price of oil, gas and especially LNG, andntonces this higher price of imports is what causes the great negative impact on our balance commercial energy”, lamented Lapeña.
When asked about the projections for 2023 of the country’s energy trade balance, he assured: “The energy trade balance will be negative, too, without a doubt”.
Vaca Muerta: the hope for which we will have to wait
The treasure underfoot that it hides Dead cow It is in which the current government and the next put all their hopes to return to the path of energy sovereignty and return to being an exporting country.
However, the dream is far from reachingis for The sorrowwhile the construction of the necessary infrastructure to become in a surplus country requires a large investment, of which the private sector He doesn’t really want to participate.
The trade balance started the year with a negative sign
“The government awaits the Vaca Muerta boom, but for this boom to materialize with exports it is necessary to build an infrastructure of gas pipelines, ports and gas liquefaction plants that have a very high cost and the private sector is not willing to assume those risks,” he said.
“For example, the expansion of the Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline it is being done by a state company that has practically no financing some. So, depending on Enarsa to build the necessary infrastructure it is utopian”, concluded the former Secretary of Energy.
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