Inflation accelerated last month in Argentina at the fastest pace in 18 months, threatening to derail the fragile economic recovery six months before key midterm elections. Consumer prices in Argentina rose 4.8% in March from February, according to the INDEC national statistics bureau. The monthly figure was the highest since September 2019. Annual inflation reached 42.6 percent in March. Prices have now risen 12.4 percent in the first quarter.
Moody's changes banking system outlooks to stable in Argentina, Paraguay and Panama. Outlook change to stable from negative was prompted by improving operating conditions in Paraguay and Panama. The outlook of Argentina’s banking system was also changed to stable from negative driven by banks’ relatively strong fundamentals, despite increasingly challenging operating conditions.
The Argentine government raised Ar$37.80 billion ($407.72 million) after a tender called to raise at least Ar$75 billion ($808.90 million), or just 50.5% of what it was seeking despite having accepted all the purchase bids it needed to pay the financial debt maturing in the next few days.
Argentina's government created a registry of beef exporters among other measures to curb under-invoicing, which authorities fear has been going on for a while now. The announcement was made by the Office of the Cabinet Chief (Santiago Cafiero). The goal is to improve the monitoring of beef exports and the supply to the domestic market, the government said in a statement.
The government admitted that the road blockade in Neuquén, near the Vaca Muerta gas field, will affect gas production for next winter. This will mean importing more supply or burning liquid fuels, which are more expensive and pollute more.
Argentina is negotiating with the IMF and the Paris Club to reschedule payments to alleviate public debt maturities with external creditors, which amount to about $28.4 billion between February and December. According to the Congressional Budget Office (OPC), maturities with the International Monetary Fund of $5.19 billion stand out, with the largest payments concentrated in September and December.
The government of Catamarca presented a project to regulate fintechs and cryptocurrencies, and proposed the creation of a Digital Currency of Argentina or of the Provinces of the Norte Grande, backed by the mining production of lithium, gold and silver. According to the government of this province, these assets have a good international valuation and good medium-term prospects.
Vista Oil & Gas became the second largest crude oil producer in Vaca Muerta. With its volume of 15,278 barrels of shale-oil in December, the company contributed 12% of the total generated by the formation, behind YPF's 57% and ahead of Shell's 10%. For this year, the company plans to bring four wells per quarter on stream. Since it began operating in Argentina in 2018, Vista has increased its hydrocarbon production by more than 24% and reduced its costs by 43%.
The Ministry of Tourism reported that practically all tourist destinations in the province of Neuquén are fully booked, which is in line with the more than 85,000 tourists that, according to the Cuidar platform, visited the different destinations on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February.
The prices of gasoline and diesel at YPF stations increased for the fourth time this year, by around 1.2%. The values already accumulate a rise of between 11 and 12% in the year, which will impact in different ways on inflation in the coming months.