Days ago, local battery manufacturers sent a letter to the president of the Central Bank (BCRA), Miguel Pesce, with a copy to the Minister of Productive Development, Daniel Scioli, in whichwarned that there may be a lack of batteries in the domestic market and that, if access to imported supplies is not regularized within 30 days, there will be personnel suspensions.
The letter from the Argentine Chamber of Manufacturers of Electric Accumulators (Cafae) is dated July 14. The entity that brings together the industrialists that participate in the market of batteries for original equipment, replacement and export, made reference to “supply problems” that companies in the sector have “with imported inputs under the conditions of payment abroad established by Circular ‘A’ 7030 and its supplements”.
“Our Chamber associates the majority of battery manufacturers throughout the country, which To date, they cannot be supplied with imported inputs, which are not produced in the country, since the 180-day payment conditions mean that the foreign supplier is not willing to grant such a long-term credit,” industrialists wrote.
“The associated companies have a productive capacity to satisfy all the needs of the domestic market, but since they cannot count on the productive inputs, spare parts, molds and capital goods, they are unable to comply with the normal production process”alerted.
“We turn to you [Pesce]since unfortunately in the next 30 days several manufacturers will find it necessary to suspend personnel due to lack of supplies. This could affect more than 4000 people of direct labor and about 5,300 of indirect labor from local suppliers in the different areas”, they indicated.
The note signed by Yamil Jalit, president of Cafae, indicated that the manufacturing of the associated companies “substitutes imports for more than US$50 million a year. “We ask the authorities to review or temper this situation, because our associates want to continue working and maintain the source of work for their employees and the country’s growth.”
Last Friday, the BCRA board had announced “improvements” in the conditions of access to the foreign exchange market for the import of goods and services associated with the productive sector. The measures would benefit the energy activity, the production of fertilizers and phytosanitary products, the inputs used to produce products for export, and the automotive industry. In relation to this last group, it was enabled for automotive manufacturers to transfer to their direct suppliers the “Certificates for the export of temporary supplies within the framework of the factory customs regime (RAF)” for the payment of auto parts destined for the manufacture of units for export.
“It’s a matter of time,” Jalit, an SME businessman from Santa Fe and president of Cafae, told THE NATION. “Inevitably, we are going to go to a situation of shortages of batteries and price increases”, said the manager, who indicated that today there is a lack of separators -which come from China, Austria, the US or Thailand- and additives. He said that the BCRA, due to its new regulation, only allows financing for 180 days, something that leaves them out of the import market.
“The shortage will depend today on the stock that each factory has. There are some that have a month and a half. Others are already in a critical stage. The problem is that, since dollars are enabled for us, it takes 90 days to reach the interior of Santa Fe with the inputs. In the middle I have to agree to a license or suspend personnel, “warned the businessman.
In addition, he asked himself: “With this uncertainty, what price do I put today on the product I sell?” The shortage could affect the production of starter batteries for cars, trucks, agricultural machinery, tractors, among other products, they said.
Although receipt of the letter, which was also sent to Scioli, was acknowledged, there was no official response. THE NATION he consulted the BCRA and Productive Development, but they still did not give details about the problem.
“There is a lot of concern in the auto parts sector, companies that do not know how much longer they can produce, risks of suspensions, while there are wage claims and multinationals that want to stop investing. A true disaster resulting from the lack of certainty, the ability to manage the macro and to generate a minimum of confidence”, they said in the sector.