Foreign trade has meant around US $ 15 billion for Argentina's Central Bank (BCRA) in 2021, according to projections reported Monday in Buenos Aires. It became the fifth best surplus so far in the 21st century, despite November's US $ 117 million deficit, the first setback since 2018.
The Argentine administration of President Alberto Fernández closed the year 2021 with one of the highest flows of hard currency so far this century. By November 2021, surplus stood already at US $ 14,222 million.
During the first 11 months of the year, the BCRA registered liquidations of exporters worth US $ 69,681 million, a 36% increase compared to the same period of 2020, while it sold foreign currency to pay for imports in the amount of US $ 55,460 million, a 32% improvement.
However, there was a negative trade balance in November of US $ 117 million resulting from exports worth US $ 5,623 million against US $ 5,740 million imports.
If it does reach the US $ 15 billion surplus, 2021 would be the fifth best performance so far this century. In 2009, the balance was US $ 16,800 million; in 2002, US $ 16,600; in 2003, US $ 16,000, and in 2019, US $ 15,900 million.
Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero said the goal for sales in 2022 stood at US $ 100 billion. Projections for 2021 mention some US $ 77 billion.
Cafiero's hopeful announcements seemed to have overlooked the drought along the Parana river in addition to the rise in the basic interest rates by the United States with the consequent drop in the price of raw materials.
A report from GMA consultancy pointed straight to agricultural exports worth US $ 30 billion in 2021 for Argentina's achievements, as well as a convenient international context, although mobility restrictions had a negative impact on foreign tourism.
The consulting firm Abeceb also underlined a greater increase in export prices compared to the growth in import prices, which resulted in gain in terms of trade of US $ 5,670 million in the first 11 months of the year 2021.
Abeceb believes 2021 closed with exports around US $ 77,000 million “showing a year-on-year increase of 40% and reaching extraordinary historical levels, mainly due to the boom in commodity prices, the strong recovery of Manufactured from Industrial Origin (MOI), driven by Brazil, and the recovery of global growth that drove our external sales.”
Meanwhile, according to National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) data, in November there was in agriculture a surplus of US $ 397 million. Indec also showed sales abroad in the first 11 months of 2021 were worth US $ 71,320 million and purchases amounted to US $ 56,968 million.
Another reason for Argentina's gains were agroindustrial sales, which amounted to US $ 32,800 million in 2021, according to the Chamber of the Oil Industry of the Argentine Republic (Ciara) and the Cereal Exporters Center (CEC), despite the persistent downspout of the Paraná River, along with a lower harvest. The oilseed-cereal complex, which includes biodiesel and its derivatives, contributed 48% of Argentina's total exports in 2021, according to Indec.
The country's main export product was soybean meal, an industrialized by-product (14.2% of total sales), followed by corn (11%) and soybean oil (6.9%).
According to projections from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)Argentina is expected to remain ahead in exports of soybean oil and flour for the 2020/21 period.
The soy complex accounted for 27% of Argentina's exports last year.