With the endorsement of the International Monetary Fund, Sergio Massa managed to avoid the default and breathe with some peace of mind, at least for the first days after the arrival of the disbursement committed as a result of the approval of the quarterly goals. Although the constant bleeding of the reserves of the Central Bankwhich will conclude first quarter of the year with US$ 3,000 million lesspromises to keep the tension in the exchange market constant because today it hardly has more than US$ 1,000 million net international currencies and that, added to the contribution of US$ 1,800 million from the IMF, will be close to US$ 2,800 to start the second quarter.
The head of the Palacio de Hacienda sent, from Washington, a confidence signal to the markets with the IMF’s OK to the quarterly goalsafter meeting that he held with the deputy managing director of the multilateral credit organization, Gita Gopinath, and your team. The novelty, which was pending after the deferral of the payment of the maturities at the beginning of March, He sought to calm down the skyrocketing dollar bluebecause, although the Central cannot intervene in the secondary market with reserves, the weakness of dollars returned to pressure for a sudden devaluation.
Massa met in the US with the number two of the IMF, Gita Gopinath
Despite Massa repeat that it will not be candidate for president by the Frente de Todos, given the incompatibility of commanding the Palacio de Hacienda and running an electoral campaign at the same time, the expectation of keep the variables controlled until June 24time to define pre-candidates to compete in the PASO, leaves him in the race. But a greater imbalance in the inflationary rhythmsupported by the expectations of remarking that could generate the rise of the blueor an unstoppable acceleration before a sharp devaluation and forced I would leave him off the field and without political weight for the reconfiguration of future power. At least that’s what some of his closest officials believe, consulted by PROFILE.
No gasoline in reserves
According to the consultant’s estimates Eco Goto which this medium accessed, The net reserves of the Central Bank until yesterday totaled US$ 1,033 million. If the Monetary Fund had not agreed to the postponement for almost 10 days of the maturities that were in force for March 21 and 22, the reserves would have remained in negative territory. At least, up to the income of the dollars, measured in SDRs, that the IMF will disburse after the approval of the quarterly goals. “With the IMF dollars you reach US$ 2,800 million. Unfortunately, it seems that the whole year is going to be hardship, due to the sharp drop in the supply of foreign currency”, ventured the associate director of Eco Go, Sebastian Menescaldi.
During the first three months of the year, the market obligations who had to face the Banco Central and the low currency settlement of the agro-industrial complex they caused an outflow of dollars that generated alarm in the economic team. According to an estimate by the consultant Ecolatina, “so far this year, the BCRA has sold more than USD 2,800 million in the MULCwhile the net reserves -the IMF criteria- accumulate a decline that exceeds USD 6,500 million”.
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“This deterioration occurred in the face of a collapse in the foreign exchange supply of the agricultural sector in the first quarter (-65% yoy) as a result of the impact of the drought on wheat, the early settlement that produced the “soybean dollar 2.0” and the incentive for the sector to retain while waiting for a new edition of this program… Although the flexibility to meet the accumulation goal for the first quarter (-US$ 3,000 M) that was revealed by Economy, increases the probability of reaching it, We anticipate that it will not be enough: even contemplating the close to US$1.7 billion that could be added when the next IMF disbursement arrives, the government needed to add some US$1.8 billion in the last 5 rounds that remained of the month, ”said the analysis.
Devaluation versus the presidential candidate
He main fear which is on the fifth floor of the Treasury Palace is the impossibility of holding the variable sine qua non of the economic plan: control the devaluation through the crawling pegeven with a more accelerated mode than the one supported during an election year. Massa has the support of Kirchnerism to get through the winterwith adjustment of the fiscal accounts and a moderate use of the monetary issue, in order to avoid a hyperinflationary leap right in the last leg of the Peronist coalition government.
“It will not be an easy task,” admitted to this portal a market operator, who had bet throughout the past year on a jump in the official dollar, given the macroeconomic imbalances, the extended exchange rate gap and the shortage of foreign currency. “The main concern of the lies in the meager stock of net reserves, the real firepower of the BCRA to intervene in the market to defend the exchange parity, against agricultural exports that would fall this year by nearly US$ 20,000 M (equivalent to nearly 5 months of imports). this last will continue to jeopardize the sustainability of the government’s exchange rate strategy (he crawling peg) as an alternative to avoid an abrupt jump in the exchange rate, the “greater evil” that the Government seeks to avoid at all costs,” said Ecolatina.
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It happens that, given the excess of pesos that the market observes, the pressure on alt dollars will continue throughout 2023. But, if the government fails to reverse the pressure for devaluation with greater firepower, the dollarization that is promoted in electoral times could play a role that is still undefined. Massa activated tools linked to the financial channelAs the new IDB loan for US$ 150 million, to replace the restriction of dollars that the productive channel left him, mainly due to the drought. The other card is the political weight that, up to now, has played in his favour. It was not by chance that the entourage of Alberto Fernandez during his visit to the United States, a kind of ministerial entouragewith which the head of the Palacio de Hacienda sought to show political determination to play strong and have freedom on the field to try to play their presidential game.
AM / ED
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