The Central Bank (BCRA) once again slowed down the rate of depreciation of the peso at the beginning of the last full week of the month, a currency that went from adjusting downwards against the official dollar from 2.6% to 2.2% per month in recent weeks.
It did so by enabling an increase of just 19 cents of the wholesale dollar that closed the day at $103.53 for sale and thus recorded the smallest rise for a start of the week so far this year.
“The reference exchange rate stood at $104.5317, rising just 0.17%, that is, at a rate of 1.72% effective monthly, on a day in which the global dollar index strengthened by 0.25 %”, analyst Andrés Reschini, from F2 Financial Solutions, noted somewhat disconcerted (naturally given that the multilateral real exchange rate lagged 18 points during 2021).
It was on a day in which he scored his second consecutive repurchase of reserves, this time for about US$40 million, a figure that implies little more than 20% of the US$203.5 million operated by the official market.
This acquisition allows you to accumulate a favorable balance of just over US$100 million so far this month, which remains far from the US$335 million that it had bought at the same time last year, but is “listed” given the situation of extreme vulnerability exhibited by its own reserves.
According to the economist Gabriel Caamaño, from Estudio Ledesma, according to the official methodology validated by the IMF to compute the reserves, The net holding of the BCRA closed 2021 at just US$1,430 million (including gold holdings valued at US$3,213 million) “accumulating a decline of US$1,750 million in relation to the end of 2020, despite the sending of SDRs and US$14,751 million that contributed the balance of the commercial trade balance”.
The entity also accumulated a short position in the futures market for US$4,185 million, relatively stable compared to the US$4,102 million with which it had closed 2020.
The meager real holding of own reserves is what explains the doubts that concern the markets in relation to payments of US$718 million in principal and US$368 million in interest that the Government should report to the IMF between next Friday and Tuesday, respectively.
This mistrust is shown in the sustained rise of the blue and the financial dollars in a context in which the most representative assets of Argentine risk (bonds and shares) continue to lose value.