The international price of maize is $206.5 per ton, the highest in almost eight years. The sharp cut in the US production estimate and growing Chinese demand pushed up prices. The yellow grain entered the public arena in these 15 days due to the government's suspension of exports until March, an issue that triggered a marketing halt by three of the four entities of the Mesa de Enlace and a strike, so the measure was left without effect yesterday by the same government.
Argentina's country risk reached a maximum of 1,417 basis points, reflecting investors' fears about the behavior of the domestic economy and doubts about the international situation of the markets, traders told Reuters. They said that the financial problems faced by Argentina are compounded by fears of new confinements in Europe due to the increase in cases of COVID-19.
The trade balance with Brazil showed a deficit of $700 million in 2020. A 26.1% collapse explained the deterioration in trade with the neighbouring country in exports, severely affected by a pandemic that hit the Brazilian economy and industry hard. As a result, Argentina's share of Brazil's imports in 2020 was the lowest since 2000, falling from six per cent to less than five per cent.
Inflation and the "cash only" culture, among other reasons, led Argentina to the last place among 17 countries in a key ranking: it is the country with the lowest amount of credit and bank deposits in Latin America, concerning the size of its economy.
In Chicago, the oilseed closed at $477.1 a ton, its highest value in six and a half years and represented a 58% rise from its March low this year. In just over eight weeks the total harvest, adding wheat, maize and soybeans, rose by about $5 billion. In this framework, the foreign currency generated by the agroindustry may become the ideal lifeline for the Argentine economy in 2021, considering that with the scenario of an estimated income of $29 billion, a growth of 35.4% compared to the $21.43 billion estimated by the Rosario Stock Exchange for 2020.
Finally, there was an agreement between the oil unions and the agro-export companies, and lifted the strike in the ports at 6 am this Wednesday. The strike in the Argentine ports caused a sharp rise in grain prices on the Chicago Market. So far, 173 ships are waiting to load nearly 4.7 million tonnes of grains, oil and soy flour for over $2 billion. As of December 16, only 38% of the 1.7 million tons of corn scheduled for whole December shipped.
Argentina fell again in the global competitiveness ranking, a report prepared by the World Economic Forum, which measures 11 variables and placed the country in 36th place out of 41 nations. Argentina thus ranked among the worst on the list that determines a nation's readiness to face economic challenges.
The government enacted the law adopting the rules established in 1997 by the International Agreement on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which prohibits vessels from emitting greenhouse gases. It is an agreement signed within the framework of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). It contains rules aimed at preventing and minimising pollution from ships, both accidental and from normal operations.
The participation of imports of Argentine origin in Brazil had in October an interannual improvement from 5.45% to 6.45% with a total value of $798.7 million. It is due to the higher demand from Brazil that is being supplied by the Argentine industry.
After falling to $6.75 per ton of Ice, the Secretary of Mining said that the international value of lithium would rebound due to the recovery of sales and penetration rate of electric vehicles in China and Europe. Earlier this month, the mining company Orocobre announced investments in Argentina for $400 million in a joint venture with the Toyota Corporation and the Government of Jujuy that will generate an increase in lithium production.