The blue (a euphemism for black market) dollar went up another AR$S 20 Monday to close at AR$ 462 and somehow match inflation in other items of the country's economy, which it was lagging.
After March's inflation hitting 7.7%, projections for April are just as gruesome. Or worse. Some consultants are already speaking of an 8% floor. The Central Bank (BCRA) raising the interest rates from 78% to 81% did little to help.
Meanwhile, the Argentine government is banking on the new agrodollar rate of AR$ 300 (also known as soybean dollar 3) for agricultural exports to liquidate sales abroad and generate a flow of hard currency into the country's coffers. However, with a deepened exchange rate gap, the administration's chances of collecting the expected US$ 5 billion have dwindled after the exchange rate offered seems increasingly unattractive.
In any case, the BCRA bought US$ 108 million Monday and ended in the green for the third consecutive round, after the launching of a new edition of the Export Increase Program (PIE), the official name of the agrodollar initiative.
In this turbulent scenario, the Government of President Alberto Fernández insisted Monday that by June there will be a surplus of US$ 3.2 billion thanks to ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Argentina's director before the IMF, Sergio Chodos, said opposition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) economists who held key positions under former President Mauricio Macri, asked the IMF not to help Argentina in a move to boost the blue dollar.
Although Chodos did not mention them by name, Buenos Aires media concluded they were Ministers Alfonso Prat-Gay and Hernán Lacunza, and former BCRA President Guido Sandleris, who reportedly asked the IMF to stop assisting Argentina until the next administration takes office after this year's elections.