The clearing of cereals and oilseed exporters of 2019 exceeded $3.5 billion over the previous year, this is 17.3% more than in 2018 and 4.1% less than the historical record of 2011, according to CIARA and CEC , the two main chambers of the sector. In the year that ended they reached $ 23.7 billion with a strong rebound in the last quarter with a register of $ 2.2 billion in December.
The Argentine peso chalked up a 37% drop for 2019, closing out a tumultuous year in which the currency has plummeted 63.6% against the dollar amid rising debt default fears, rampant inflation and domestic recession. Argentina’s over-the-counter bonds, however, have recovered slightly, and rose 8.5% on average in December, though they were still down 21% for the year.
The president of Sforza Group, Carlos Wizard Martins, will make use of the option to keep the remaining 87.5% of Topper Argentina for a total of $64 million, Alpargatas SA announced on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange. The Brazilian billionaire had acquired 22.5% of the shareholding package in September 2018. Since then, Alpargatas has been closing all their manufacturing plants and the business unit in Argentina after 139 years of operation.
Standard & Poor’s raised Argentina’s long-term foreign currency rating to “CC” from “SD” (selective default), saying the default on short-term dollar-denominated paper on Dec. 19 has effectively been “cured”. The CC rating is 10 levels below investment-grade and is characterized as near default. The global ratings agency maintained Argentina’s outlook at negative, citing further restructuring of sovereign debt in coming months.
Conviasa said that will be resuming from February 2020 the airlink between Buenos Aires and Caracas. Flights have been suspended since 2017 when airlines Aerolíneas Argentinas and Conviasa announced almost at the same time the closure of their operations.
Alberto Fernández’ government will pay on Monday $98 million for maturities of the ‘Discount’ bond and on Tuesday $752 million for the controversial ‘Centennial’ bond, the National Treasury announced. Argentina will end this year having paid all maturing bonds in 2019, after securing the postponement until 31st August of $9 billion payments by launching Treasury bills in pesos with generous interest rates, maturing in April and June.
Crude steel production fell 21.6% in November compared to the same month of 2018, with a volume of 357,500 tons, the Argentine Chamber of Steel reported. In relation to October, local steel production marked a decrease of 6.4%, and in the last twelve months accumulates 9.9%.
Argentina’s unemployment rate rose to 9.7% in the third quarter versus 9.0% in the same period last year, marking one of the highest rates recorded in recent years, the National Institute of Statistic and Census (Indec) said. The third quarter result was slightly improved from the second quarter rate of 10.6%. Last week, Indec said that Argentina’s economy shrank 1.7% in the third quarter versus the same period the previous year.
The new Argentine Government signed a social agreement with leaders of business, unions and social organisations to address the social emergency, seek a sustainable solution to public debt and launch an Economic and Social Council. The pact was achieved two weeks after Alberto Fernández took office and obtained the Congress approval of a public emergency law with a comprehensive economic plan.
According to analysts at ABN AMRO, among the ‘big six’ Latin American economies, Argentina is the only country which looks to be heading for a further contraction in 2020. “The economic outlook is highly uncertain; at this point in time, we are forecasting a 2% contraction in GDP in both 2019 and 2020, with a slight recovery in 2021,” they say in their last report.