Tuesday, June 25th 2013 - 05:57 UTC

Argentine central bank has lost 17% of reserves since the ‘dollar clamp’

Argentine central bank international reserves dropped 17% since the government of President Cristina Fernandez imposed the ‘dollar clamp`, first limiting operations in the US currency and later savings in greenbacks. While this happened in Argentina in other regional central banks, international reserves kept climbing, according to a report from consultants Economia&Regiones (E&R).

Between October 2011 and June 2013, the central bank loss was 9.2bn dollars says R&E

This was the case for Uruguay, reserves up 74%; Peru, 47%; Chile 27% and Brazil 19%, says the report, and this happened despite the strict foreign exchange restrictions implemented by Argentina.

“Although the dollar clamp helped to reduce the outflow of capital, the Central bank is losing reserves at an ever increasing rhythm” adds the document.

The loss of reserves was actually 9.2 billion dollars equivalent to 19.4% between 28 October 2011, when the first restriction, (supervising all US dollar purchase requests) until this month, according to the central bank.

E&R argues that the loss of reserves increases because the foreign exchange current account worsens: 59% can be attributed to the falling trade surplus and 35% to the deterioration of the services accounts, mainly tourism.

“The loss of reserves is the final manifestation of an economic disease faced by our economy, which are the inconsistencies of economic policy” says the diagnosis.

E&R recalls that the dollar clamp became increasingly stricter and that from May to August 2012, “twelve measures were implemented which made it even harder to obtain dollars and the gap between the official rate and the parallel or blue rate doubled with impact on the level of activity and creation of new jobs”.

“Barriers on imports and the dollar clamp modified private consumption and investment patterns, with a negative impact on aggregate demand and the level of activity”.

The report adds that growth rate became tepid and GDP expanded only 1.2% in 2012, with unemployment up to 7.9% in the first quarter of 2013: “currently Argentina has the highest unemployment rate in the region”.

The central bank report shows that 2.844bn dollars in international reserves were lost in the first quarter of 2013, which compares with an increase of 915 million dollars in the first quarter of last year and a loss of 891 million in the same period but of 2011.

“In 2012 reserves were down 6.7% (3.086bn dollars). In the first quarter of this year they dropped 6.6%, accumulating a total loss of 10.8% so far this year” says R&E.

The consultant argues that the dollar clamp really only attacked one of the problems, the outflow of hard currency, which helped the erosion of reserves but did not attack the main problem.

E&R concludes that Argentina’s international reserves are falling and will continue to fall as long as the same economic policy remains” anticipating that since tourism continues to erode reserves, it should not come as a surprise if the government of President Cristina Fernandez implements a further tax on credit card spending abroad or some other contention mechanism”.

27 comments Feed

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1 toxictaxitrader2 (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 06:39 am Report abuse
What else did anyone expect?when inflation is out of control people will try protect their saving,bring in rational economic policies and the economy will begin to heal.
2 ElaineB (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 09:55 am Report abuse
The Argentine government does not have a clue. CFK thinks she is fighting some battle. Why doesn't someone explain to her that she is supposed to be running the country not constantly running for re-election.
3 LEPRecon (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 10:11 am Report abuse
Argentina is finished ARRRRGH!!!

There, I'd though I'd get that out of my system.

I'm waiting for the usual suspects to come on here with their 'whataboutery' and saying the UK is finished. ;)

@2 ElaineB

Good point. One does get the feeling that CFK believes that she is constantly running for re-election. She certainly isn't running the country. By the looks of it, no one is.
4 Justthefacts (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 11:06 am Report abuse
I have the usual mixed feelings every time I read a story like this further confirming that Argentina is fast flushing itself down the economic toilet. I feel sadness for the ordinary people of a country I feel a lot of affection for, knowing they are going to suffer and already are. But at the same time I feel relief that it helps keep moving them away from an economic and military position where they can act out their agressive fantasies about invading the Falkands and enslaving it's inhabitants.
5 Conqueror (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 11:18 am Report abuse
@1 No, no, no. Why would we want the argie economy (joke) to “heal”? We want it to hemorrhage. We want them paying billions for fuel they can't provide themselves. We want sky-high food prices. In fact, sky-high prices for everything. Higher export taxes on everything. And who's responsible? Not just CFK but the whole Peronist movement. And what happens when the people finally see where Peronism takes them? Fortunately for the world, the argie “government” will have to abandon Peronism in order to put things right. It is, after all, similar to communism.
6 yankeeboy (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 11:54 am Report abuse
Paying for fuel is draining them. There is nothing on the horizon that is going to allow them to increase the reserves in the near term.
They have taken all the hard currency from every Gov't entity and nationalized companies.
There is nothing left

They are out of flour! Flour for gosh sakes! Soley due to bad gov't policies.
Last year I told them to expect Barley bread looks like I was right again

They stepped up the import restrictions too

And last but not least
the judge investigating part of the K corruption is having car troubles
what a surprise
CFK is a THUG a dirty corrupt Thug
I hope they retire her soon
7 Be serious (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 12:06 pm Report abuse
Tinkadova was only just saying how this Argyland Government is the best ever. What a pussy.
8 andy65 (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 12:13 pm Report abuse
I wonder how much of the 17% found it's way into Kirchner's purse
9 stick up your junta (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 01:10 pm Report abuse
keeping Cristina and the more rackety members of her government out of jail has become an absolute priority. For over a year, everything else has been subordinated to it. The war loyalists are waging against the judiciary has nothing to do with a sudden interest in making it less “corporatist”, more “democratic” and all that high-minded guff they are coming up with. What they are desperately trying to do is find a way to get rid of those judges who could cause them trouble in the future and replace them with individuals who can be relied upon to give them the benefit of every conceivable doub
10 yankeeboy (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 01:59 pm Report abuse
9. They're terrified. They know how dirty and corrupt the whole mess of them are and they know if they lose they'll be dead or in jail.
Dictators always seem to overstay their welcome
CFK is no different
11 Britworker (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 02:23 pm Report abuse
I see the RG's are taking advice on how they should respond to this article, it obviously under advisement at the moment.
Apart from that, wonderful news!
12 pgerman (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 02:49 pm Report abuse
Wait to check the real reserves. The situation is even worse than this figure. The reserves consist on assets and some of them are useless to pay energy or to cancel international debts.

Who would accept a bond for oil?
Who would accept to cancel a bond for another bond?

As a consequence of the economy “changes” promoted by the Government there are not investments at all.

The real reserves, money in cash, are roughly U$D 6.000 millions. This is not enough to cover the annual “living” spences.
13 Troy Tempest (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 02:53 pm Report abuse
9 sticky

many controversial figures are choosing to retire in Ecuador - very chic!

14 ChrisR (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 04:20 pm Report abuse
Some of us have said for a while that the Central Bank is being robbed and now at last we have a figure we can believe USD 6 Bn. courtesy of pgerman.

I bet he is closer to it than the accountant of the treasury.
15 Simon68 (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 04:38 pm Report abuse
14 ChrisR (#)
Jun 25th, 2013 - 04:20 pm & 12 pgerman (#)
Jun 25th, 2013 - 02:49 pm

I think that our reserves in actual physical greenbacks is nearer to U$S 3 billion than U$S 6 billion, an awful lot of dollars have been used to keep the exchange rate “stable” over the last three or four years!!!!!!!
16 pgerman (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 04:54 pm Report abuse
I checked this weekend the official “weekly monetary inform” of the BCRA website and I got this figure. As any human being I can make mistakes but the figure has been this lately. That's the reason why the Government is about launching the CEDIN.

What if the CEDIN don't became popular and they cannot collect an importan amount of U$D? What would happen next?

Well.....there are U$D 7 billon that are private deposits in banks that all of them are almost “bank reserve requirements” enforced by the BCRA. This could eventually be taken by the Government to make urgent payments.

The ironic thing of this is that the Government has been making foreign investments to run away from the country on account of being “anti-imperialist” and now the accept dirty dollar from unknown bussinesses
17 Pirate Love (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 06:28 pm Report abuse
Dollar clamp?? oh the dollar clamp argentinas govt deny existence of?.....

17%.....Great News! more please!
18 yankeeboy (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 06:35 pm Report abuse
U$ in private bank accounts are counted as foreign reserves already. The only thing they can do is another forced peso/u$ conversion but I think they'll wait until after the elections when they devalue to 16-20/1U$.
19 Troy Tempest (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 06:54 pm Report abuse
Let me understand this, the Reserves of $6b that are being spoken of, those are the 'real' figure, as opposed to the “$39b” that were officially quoted less than a year ago???
20 yankeeboy (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 07:28 pm Report abuse
19. The u$ 39B “reserve” figure is not available cash, most of the figure is made up of notes to other gov't agencies or entangled in other covenants.
They have maybe $U3-6B in cash...maybe
That is why the LNG tankers are sitting in Uruguay until they get the wire to pay for the shipment.
The wires have been greatly delayed.
So how bad must it really be if they can't afford a tanker of gas?
21 MagnusMaster (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 08:29 pm Report abuse
@2 ALL politicians in Argentina are constanly running for reelection. It's their only job (because they're so untouchable that nobody can make them do their real job). If a politician in Argentina actually works, it's only because he wants to make the people think he's some sort of saint so he gets elected to a place where he can loot everything (by the way, Nestor Kirchner DID actually do a good job when he was mayor of Rio Gallegos, or so I've heard, but only so he could steal everything when he got elected as governor and later president.).
22 ChrisR (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 09:41 pm Report abuse
15 Simon68

Yes, I can easily believe that with the issuance of all the bonds in place of cash at the various institutions that have been robbed in the two years I have been on MP.

Being a Brit and an old fashioned Brit at that I just cannot see how this horrid government of your is going to keep going for much longer.

Kindest regards, as always.
23 ElaineB (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 10:06 pm Report abuse
@21 I notice CFK will turn up for the opening of an envelope as long as there is a cheering crowd of her son's friends there.
24 yankeeboy (#) Jun 25th, 2013 - 10:53 pm Report abuse
Argentina's flour shortage is making Int'l news!!

Argentina: Bread Prices up on Wheat Shortage

Maybe the Rgs will riot like the Mexican peasants when corn went up.
25 Chicureo (#) Jun 26th, 2013 - 11:38 pm Report abuse
Why sell your wheat at lower prices domestically than the international market is paying? Each month bread sellers are receiving less profits for baking bread as retail prices are frozen, yet the cost of labor, materials and delivery are continuing to rise?
The CFK answer: restrict the amount of wheat to be exported... Gosh, how do you think the growers will react? Plant less wheat and more soy instead...
26 axel arg (#) Jun 29th, 2013 - 11:49 pm Report abuse
Beyond the usuall misserable expressions of some people, and some too partial and hypocrite analysis, published in the most important newspapers of the country, what will always prevaill is reality.
When the so called blue dollar increased it's illegal quotation to 10,40 pesos, some corporative cretins who analyze economic issues on tv, predict economic disasters because of the huge difference between the official dollar and the illegal one. However, none of them said that it is just a small and speculative market which doesn't have anything to do with popular economy. In fact, i have explained it in different oportunities in this forum, but i just received insults as it usually happens. Finally, objetive facts showed that the so called blue dollar diminished it's quotation to 8 pesos, but it has never provoked anything on our popular economy, the main proof of it, is that since janory untill april, we had an economic expansion of 4%.
In relation to the decline of our reserves, which is an objetive fact too, however, what is omitted is that the govt. often pays debt with reserves, in order to not to make any cut off in the public expenditures, and without recurring to the i. m. f., or without devaluating the peso, as it is asked by the most conservative sectors of the local politic, and by powerfull bussiness men. These are actually the true rasons why some of those so called polls criticise c. f. k's govt. The reserves will increase slowly, because the exporters are selling their harvests, beside, what is omitted also, is that despite the decline, the central bank still has enough reserves, in order to controll the economy.
Ok boys, now i'm prepared to receive many of your usuall insults, without proposing any idea, as you often do. Anyway, if you have any serious analysis, i hear it, because some critics are very relevant, and help people to search solutions, or unless they help to understand the problem.
27 ChrisR (#) Jun 30th, 2013 - 11:09 am Report abuse
26 axel arg

I don't often respond to your posts because I cannot stand your formatting and overlong and verbose texts.

However, I struggled through this one and would comment as follows:

1) there is nothing illegal about how people IN A FREE COUNTRY want to set a reasonable rate for the exchange of their money. It’s what we call A FREE MARKET;

2) the fact that your ‘corporative’ [do you mean corporate?] cretins didn’t explain it was just a small and speculative market was probably BECAUSE THE REAL IMPORTANCE IS THAT IT EXISTS AT ALL! Do you not grasp the fact that properly run economies DON’T HAVE A SECOND MONEY MARKET!

3) BTW, the fact that your economic expansion from January until April was 4% had nothing to do with increased economic activity but that inflation moved ahead again.

Perhaps you should start reading more informed sources and avoid the lies of the government.

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