A “little summer” of optimism and several projects on the table to attract dollars from the countryside

The sense of urgency, for now, lessens. The main ally of the Government today is the climate, something that does not handle, but accompanies. Thanks to the improvement in temperatures –YPF announced the Minister of the Economy, Sergio Massa– the country would need to buy fewer Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ships. Added to that was some help from Yacyretá. That’s less dollars to lose.

That’s not enough. For this reason, today the Secretary of Commerce that he leads, Matías Tombolini, accelerated a tourniquet on imports, which would cost US$1.5 billion at the end of the year. Next week, Carlos Castagneto will promote a system change in the AFIP of the Financial Economic Capacity (CEF), which will presumably make the first filter harder to request import permits.

In this context, at US$5 million, US$10 million or US$15 million, the reserves of the Central Bank (BCRA) stopped falling sharply, something that drastically accelerated devaluation expectations. The latter were warmed by the impact of the rise in interest rates on financial dollars.

“Before defining how we multiply the volume of exports, we want to have the planning of the volume of imports closed,” they said this week to THE NATION at the Ministry of Economy. “We are finishing,” they added.

Massa received at least four different proposals to encourage the sale of grains from agricultural producers. There is that of the producers, the Rosario Stock Exchange, the collectors and the cereal companies. “Each one kicks for his side,” they said, near the Tigrense, where they believe that this weekend they will internally debate the mechanism promised by the minister in the Council of the Americas, a commitment ratified by his Secretary of Agriculture, Juan José Bahillo. In the meetings with the producers, Massa dedicated himself to listening and deflating the tension.

In the meantime, buy time. The leader of the Renovating Front had already promised to “play” options last Friday at 9:00 p.m. with the Agriculture team, which brought him – as LA NACION reported – the proposal for a mechanism that would allow the producer an improvement in what is charged in pesos for 50% soybeans or a lucky dollar equivalent to $209. That option pushed by the cereal companies, for now, has fizzled out.

Sergio Massa at the Council of AmericasGerardo Viercovich

Today, another option appeared on the radar. The so-called Refinoplus bis (promoted by Massa in 2008 for oil), which would imply recognizing a 30% improvement in the price for producers through the issuance of a tax credit certificate applicable to the payment of soybean withholdings for 30 %. The certificate is triggered by each primary settlement of grains that each producer issues during September and is sold to cereal companies (these could fully apply it if they settle more). This option does not affect futures, they say.

An official close to Massa affirmed that it is “Plan B” that the Government has in the folder. “Plan A”, which takes on color with the slowdown in the BCRA’s trickle, does not make changes to the current scheme and continues adding “little bits” while waiting for Massa to strengthen reserves after his trip to the US. “There will be some other little thing”, they promise in Economy, however, without giving further details.

Something of that “Plan A” -a slow step by step without changes in the exchange scheme- slipped from the bowels of the BCRA, where they said that today had been the last directory of the month and highlighted that the so-called “solar soybean”, for which the producer can, of the total of his sale, fit 70% into a bank account that protects him from devaluation and, with the remaining 30%, buy “solidarity dollar”.

“It is a sign that at the end of the month it falls. Either they hurry up or they stay out.” They said, and they assured that many promises are being flung around, but that the only concrete thing – Miguel Pesce’s “soybean dollar” – will fall in a week.

The field has been asking for a unification of the exchange rate, which can be read as a devaluation of the official dollar. Both in the entity that Pesce directs and in the Ministry of Economy they believe that this is not an option. “Sudden devaluation without anchors only generates income transfers in value chains, and impoverishment of companies and people,” they analyze. For now, in a “summer” thanks to the weather and the obstacles, Massa gains time on a narrow path and delays decisions.

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