With the positive expectations generated by the announcement of the soybean dollar and on the first day of operation of the local market after the attack against Vice President Cristina Kirchner, the dollar blue plummeted fifteen pesos and closed at $ 270, the lowest level since July 11.
On Sunday night, the minister Serge Massa announced the creation of a soybean dollar, which will allow producers to sell their beans for a $200 dollar instead of $140, the current price of the wholesale exchange rate that governs the rest of the exports.
With this measure, which will be in force only until September 30, agro-exporters are expected to liquidate US$ 5,000 million this month -35% more than expected- and that this contributes to strengthening the net reserves of the Central Bank, which today are below US$ 1,000 million.
Strengthening net reserves is a key point of the agreement with the Monetary Fund, since the government promised that by the end of the year the Central will have an additional US$5.8 billion, which would give it room to control the exchange rate and avoid a sharp devaluation.
For this reason, the announcement of the soybean dollar was made before Massa landed in the United States, where he will begin a tour on Tuesday that includes meetings with officials from international organizations, including Kristalina Georgieva, the director of the IMF.
Despite the ads, the soybean dollar did not start trading this Monday: the combination of the Labor Day holiday in the United States, plus the difficulties of local banks to adapt their systems with only a few hours’ notice, complicated the start of transactions.
However, from CIARA, the chamber that brings together the oil companies, they anticipated that operations were agreed for US$ 360 million which will effectively enter the country in the coming days.
The perception that the soybean dollar was well received by producers was enough to deflate the blue dollar, which is now 80 pesos below the record of $350 that it reached on July 22, during the interregnum of former minister Silvina Batakis.
Nevertheless, the informal remains 31 pesos above the price it exhibited on July 1in the run-up to the resignation of Martín Guzmán.
With the blue at $270, the exchange rate gap with the official dollar breaks through the 100% floor and or 93%, which begins a new foreign exchange summer.
This was also noted in financial dollars: the MEP, which is traded on the Buenos Aires stock market, fell 2.7% to $273.5 and cash with liquidity or CCL used by companies to withdraw foreign currency from the country yielded 2.5%, to $281.5.
In this way, the blue dollar is today the cheapest among the alternative dollars and is located just 6% above the card dollar, which is trading at $ 254.
Also contributing to the downfall of blues was the version that in the coming days the Central Bank will apply a new interest rate hikewhich would increase the attractiveness of placements in pesos and renew investors’ interest in the “carry trade”, the combination of a high yield in local currency with a stable dollar.
In this climate, the Central Bank accelerated the devaluation and the official exchange rate had the highest daily rise in almost 2 years: it climbed $1.17, to $140.20.
In this round there was little liquidation of dollars, since the holiday in the United States played against the commitment of exporters to enter foreign currency and thus fulfill the promise made by the government to bring $1 billion in the first three days of this week.
The lack of supply led the Central Bank to interrupt the buying streak that it maintained for sixteen rounds and had to go out and sell again, this time $9 million.
“The monetary authority recorded the first negative balance of the month in a wheel in which demand was accumulated to meet obligations abroad, without registering sales of the soybean complex on the date”indicated the operator Gustavo Quintana.
Market sources pointed out that the interruption of the Central’s selling streak “does not indicate anything, because today was an atypical day. Tomorrow (Tuesday) everything really starts.”
“The movement of the soybean dollar is going to be important, but it is not immediate. Many people made the decision to sell their production, but due to the multiple steps of the operation, the effective registration of these operations will not be seen for another seven days,” said economist Salvador Di Stéfano.