The US dollar reached a new record high on Thursday as purchase pressure on the so called “blue” or informal market continues pushing the price which closed 35 cents up at 11.50 pesos for buyers and 11.55 pesos for sellers.
High tourist demand and mere speculation since there seems to be no roof for the US dollar in Argentina, have helped to increase the price. On Wednesday the 'blue' dollar also hit a new record high, 11.25 Pesos.
Meanwhile in the formal market at Buenos Aires City banks, the US currency was traded one cent and half higher at 6.73 pesos (buying price) and 6.78 pesos (selling price). This means the gap between the two markets has climbed to 70%, and the price of the dollar 75 Argentine cents in four days.
“There are many pesos that lack a final destination, and they go toward the dollar,” a trader told private news agency DyN, specifying that in “December alone, the Central (Bank) printed 40 billion (pesos).”
“The population is turning its back on the local currency,” said Buenos Aires-based economic consultant Jorge Todesca. “All roads lead to the dollar”.
Meanwhile at the end of trading on Thursday the Argentine central bank revealed its international reserves had fallen a further 100 million dollars and now stand at 29.758bn dollars, the lowest since November 2006, when Nestor Kirchner was president.
“Certain players seeking to take advantage of prices with the objective of making short-term profits returned to the arena,” an analyst was quoted by the financial media.
Foreign exchange operators also say the parallel devaluation is quickening because tourists that have vacation planned for the next few weeks are buying dollars earlier, afraid that the devaluation will continue.
With demand and prices surging, many tourists with holidays scheduled in a few weeks were reported to have flocked to change their pesos for dollars to avoid higher rates before their departure.
Former Central Bank Governor Aldo Pignanelli considered that the value of the black market currency will keep rising, because it “will accompany inflation” levels. Piganelli said he expected the rate to end the year at 13 pesos.
Minister of Economy, Axel Kicillof spent on Thursday two hours with President Cristina Fernández, which could anticipate further measures to try and contain the soaring dollar and the loss of international reserves.