In April, trade between Argentina and Brazil grew, and for the second consecutive month, the balance was negative for us. April closed with a deficit of $73 million, and the forecast is to close the year with a negative balance of around $1.85 billion.
The Government accelerates efforts to increase exports. They have outlined a strategy to enter strongly into the Brazilian methanol market. There is a potential of $350 million. Next week they will have the first rounds with importers.
Oil prices rose on Thursday to a six-week high after good growth data in the US. Brent North Sea crude oil for June delivery closed at 68.56 dollars a barrel in London, up 1.9%. Meanwhile, in New York, the WTI barrel for the same month closed 1.8% higher at 65.01 dollars, also a six-week high.
Argentina completed its accession to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), becoming the sixth Latin American country to accede to the organization created in 2014. The institution, led by China, aims to provide financing for infrastructure projects.
The country ranked second to last in statistical analysis by Bloomberg of 53 nations. To carry out the survey, only those economies whose GDP exceeds USD 200 billion were analyzed. They took a large amount of data and taken into account parameters to determine where the pandemic is being fought most effectively, i.e. with the least social and economic consequences.
The Government will pay next week to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) some $300 million correspondingly to the Stand-By program's interest maturity. It will be the second payment that the country will make this year, while the negotiation of the new program to refinance around $45 billion owed continues. Between the Fund and the Paris Club, the commitments total $7.6 billion in 2021, but the country is seeking to reschedule the principal maturities.
The financial debt restructuring carried out by some 40 companies in the last quarter of 2020 took the pressure off the exchange market for close to $500 million that would otherwise pay capital and interests.
The May position of the oilseed gained $13.23 in just one day to reach $563.37 per ton. Almost all commodities had a good day. Soybean oil, which reached its highest since 2008, climbed to $1,378.31 per ton, while soybean meal -the main local export by-product- was $465.17 per ton.
Soybean rose $6.06 yesterday in the Chicago market, after reaching a seven-year high, and closed at $532.69. The oilseed price accumulated its fifth bullish round and was 75% above the value it had thirteen months ago. Exports of the soybean complex closed the first quarter of the year with a record income of $5.025 billion due to the increase in international grain prices.
Argentina took delivery of a new shipment of Covid-19 vaccines welcoming 864,000 doses from the AstraZeneca laboratory as part of the World Health Organisation's COVAX scheme. The doses, which arrived on a flight from the Netherlands, come from the nine million vaccines acquired by Argentina through the Covax scheme. This is the second shipment, following on from some 218,000 doses received in March.