Argentina heads to the primary election with almost record country risk and the US dollar at 186 Pesos
As a direct consequence of political uncertainty ahead of the primary elections to be held by the different Argentine political parties on Sunday, the US dollar in the black market climbed 5 Pesos during the first seven working days of September, reaching 187 Argentine Pesos.
During the whole month of August the greenback climbed only one Peso. As happens with electoral scenarios Argentine buyers are keen to protect their funds by taking refuge in the greenback, while suppliers tend to freeze operations waiting for the outcome of the political event.
Anyhow financial data shows Argentina’s country risk climbed 1,6% to 1,528 points and the gap between the official exchange rate for the US dollar, that is what exporters are paid for the sale of grains and importers have to queue for them, remained above 91%, since the foreign trade rate in government banks is in the range of 100 Pesos.
However it must also be pointed out that in Argentina there are several other exchange rates besides the official and the black market where the dollar is called blue. They include for example the so called solidarity dollar in the range of 175 Pesos, which is mostly used for tourism, traveling and payment of other services. Likewise there are other categories when the exchange rate is done through the sale of stocks and bonds in international markets by financial institutions.
According to private records during this year the blue dollar has increased 12,3%, including 6,4% in April, 4,7% in May, 7% in June and 7,4% in July. However the nominal record for the blue dollar was 195 Pesos on 23 October 2020.
But the Argentine Central bank always short of foreign currency, has not been absent from the exchange money markets hoping for some stability and during the first eight days of September flooded the market with over 400 million US dollars.
Despite its pre-default situation Argentina, continues negotiations with the IMF for an agreement following the November midterm election, which together with a spike in agriculture commodities prices, brought some relief to the banks international reserves. Plus the equivalent of US$ 4,355bn in SDR which the country was awarded by the IMF in its latest distribution of resources to help the global economy overcome the consequences of the pandemic.