According to data from the Congressional Budget Office, $ 718 million correspond to a new capital maturity with the IMF(valued at the SDR price at the end of November), US $ 693 million in interest on different bonds issued last year as part of the restructuring of the debt with private creditors, US $ 178 million to bilateral loans, US $ 129 million to other multilateral commitments and US $ 53 million to a letter held by the province of Mendoza. In total, they are about $ 1,771 million. Although the type of creditors is different.
For example, the letter has as its counterpart a sub-sovereign state. But the main question is what will happen with the third capital maturity with the Fund. The 2022 Budget project, prepared in September and with the expectation of an agreement to refinance the debt of US $ 45,000 million before the end of this year, did not include capital payments to the body during the entire next fiscal year. However, that project was rejected by the opposition in Congress.
After the parliamentary defeat, the Government’s decision is to extend the 2021 Budget, through a decree that, according to official sources, could be published next week or the first days of January. With a negotiation that seems to be extended before the request of the Fund for a more accelerated adjustment, it is not clear what will happen then with the US $ 718 million of capital that expire in January. A source close to the economic team did not rule out that it be paid and pointed out that interest maturities are expected, such as the US $ 365 million in February.
In any case, as the seasonality and current fragility dictate, it will be a challenging summer for exchange management. Officials know it but they assure that, as happened last year and the current one, they will be able to weather the times of shortage of foreign exchange, and highlight the expectation of an important fine harvest (mainly wheat) that oxygenates the external front.
According to the projections of the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange, there will be a record liquidation of agro-dollars for this time of year: about US $ 2.3 billion in December, US $ 3.0 billion in January and US $ 2.3 billion in February. , well above the previous campaign.
In the last days there was already a respite. After starting the month with a significant drain on reserves (US $ 384 million until the 10th), the Central Bank stacked seven consecutive wheels without sales and dropper purchases for just over US $ 20 million. The most favorable seasonality of December helps, a month in which, in addition to the beginning of the wheat harvest, there is an increase in the demand for pesos by people and companies for the payment of Christmas bonuses, taxes, vacations and purchases of the parties. This behavior of the demand for money tends to reverse in January and February.
The truth is that the BCRA’s buying streak in the official market coincides with a decline in the volume of agreed operations. Yesterday, for example, barely u $ s187 million were marketed; Since August 9, no less than US $ 200 million has been traded. Some operators pointed out that the drop in volume could be due to the Government having once again stepped on import authorizations. But official sources ruled it out and assured that, in reality, there is a growth in foreign sales in December, which will close as the month with the highest imports of the year.
For the road to March, when the heavy harvest dollars begin to arrive, the economist Federico Furiase (from the consulting firm Anker Latin America, founded by Luis “Toto” Caputo) pointed out during a talk organized by the BAVSA brokerage company that it will be key To avoid exchange rate shocks, ensure a significant flow of the wheat crop. In this sense, and given the acceleration of the rate of devaluation that the Central began to implement this month, it considered likely that there will be an increase in the interest rate to avoid the stimulus to exporters to leverage loans at negative rates in pesos and postpone settlements waiting for a higher exchange rate.
As counted Ambit, the monetary authority evaluates the possibility of moving the reference rate with that objective. For the moment, it decided to keep it at a nominal 38% per year, as it has been since November 2020, but the decision will remain under analysis. In fact, the IMF staff claimed to set “positive real interest rates” in the statement after the visit of Economy officials and the BCRA to Washington.
Yesterday, Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti, who is in charge of the alleged irregularities committed by the Macri government when contracting credit with the IMF, rejected a precautionary measure that had been presented by a group of leaders to prevent the next payments to the body, including Today’s. The presentation was made, among others, by Claudio Lozano, director of Banco Nación and member of the Frente de Todos, in a demonstration that not all the ruling party follows the government’s negotiation strategy. Rejected the precautionary, the cancellation will be made: days ago, Economía had sent the BCRA the payment order.