The Federation of Chambers of the Energy Sector of the Province of Neuquén (Fecene) made the complaint pointing to a company 99% controlled by YPF, called Astra Evangelista (AESA). AESA focused on four pillars: integral construction of works, manufacturing of equipment and process modules, engineering and provision of services in the oil and gas areas. The firm closed contracts below the reference values or minimum floors required to carry out the activity. In 9 months, the company's negative equity grew more than 400%, and as of September 30, the loans granted by YPF to the firm amounted to 8.7 billion pesos ($101.45 mn).
The national public sector ended 2020 with a primary deficit in the order of 400 billion pesos ($4.68 bn) which represents 7.4% of GDP. But in reality, if it had not been for the aid represented by the Central Bank's contributions to the Treasury, this deficit would have amounted to 2 trillion pesos ($23.33 bn).
The Argentine Chamber of Steel reported that production grew 19% year-on-year in December. The sector's momentum explained by the upturn in construction, the exploitation of hydrocarbons and the increased demand for durable goods.
Customs reported a total of 2,812 over-invoicing operations for imports and under-invoicing of exports for the equivalent of $330 million during 2020. Given the context of fragile foreign currency reserves that the Central Bank of Argentina is going through, the manoeuvres increase the exchange rate's complexity.
The state oil company YPF announced a 3.5% average adjustment to its fuel prices, starting at midnight this Saturday. This increase includes the increase of the Liquid Fuels Tax (ICL) and the Carbon Dioxide Tax (IDC) of 7.7% that came into effect from this Friday, as provided by the national government.
In December, inflation was 4%, the highest in the whole of 2020, so it closed last year with a rise in retail prices of 36.1%, 18 percentage points below the 2019 figure. The accumulated rate of inflation is in double digits for 16 consecutive years and is the ninth year in which it has exceeded 25% annually. Because there are still underlying pressures, inflation in 2021 could exceed 45%.
According to its characteristics and range, an imported vehicle is today subject to a tax pressure ranging from 96% to 209% on the value arriving at the port. On average, the tax burden ratio to the value of the vehicle is approximately 70% of the final value of the 0km and places it among the most expensive in the world. For national cars, the impact of the tax burden is around 54%.
YPF and Equinor agreed on Shell's entry as a third partner of the offshore block CAN100, located in the Northern Basin of the Argentine Sea. After this operation, Equinor (operator of the area) and YPF will divide 70% of the block into equal parts, and Shell will enter with the remaining 30%. The block locates in water more than 1,500 metres deep that has never been explored or drilled in the country before.
After the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the construction sector began to gather pace in recent months, and today, 71% of the works are in normal development. Activity grew 6.2% year-on-year and 7.2% concerning the previous month.
The government placed three bills and a Treasury bond yesterday and managed to capture about 56.433 billion pesos ($659 mn) of cash value awarded from the market. The first auction of the year obtained net financing of 32.136 billion pesos ($375 million). Most of the demand concentrated on the two shorter-term bills, which mature in March 2021.