The U.S. Department of Commerce has decided to remove Argentina and other 24 countries of their list of developing countries, which may restrict trade benefits granted to nations in this category. According to Argentine Foreign Ministry sources, the measure “still has no direct consequences” and the Embassy in Washington will continue to monitor the issue.
The trade deficit with the United States fell 22.5% in 2019 (from $ 5.314 billion in 2018 to $ 3.589 billion), because Argentina imported almost $ 1.9 billion less, according to official data from Washington. The fall of the bilateral deficit with China reached 70% ($ 2.2 billion against $ 7.6 billion in 2018), according to the Argentine Chamber of Exporters. In December, 32.7% of Argentine exports went to China, Brazil and the US, while 52.3% of imports came from those three countries, according to Indec.
China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co has agreed with Vancouver-based Lithium Americas to take control of the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina’s far north. Ganfeng will pay $16 million to increase its stake to 51%, whilst Lithium Americas will get $40 million cash and retain 49% stake, in a deal to be closed before August.
The Institute of Agricultural Health and Quality of Mendoza (Iscamen) announced the sale of 440 million sterile Mediterranean flies to Morocco. So far, the material used by Morocco was provided by the sterile insect production plant in Valencia, Spain. From March, Argentine province of Mendoza will send from the Bioplanta Santa Rosa, located 90 km from the capital, shipments of 10 million sterile flies per week.
Mexico’s Grupo Axo acquired Nike’s operations in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in a deal that still needs Argentine government approval. The agreement figure was not disclosed but could exceed $ 200 million. Axo operates 800 stores and owns Promoda, an off-price retailer, and Privalia, a multibrand e-commerce platform. It also has exclusive rights to more than 30 brands, including Calvin Klein, Guess, Speedo and Tommy Hilfiger.
The London-based precious metals explorer ECR Minerals PLC has sold its Argentinian subsidiary Ochre Mining SA, which holds the SLM gold project in the province of La Rioja, to Chinese-owned Hanaq Argentina SA, in order to focus on the company’s core gold exploration activities in Australia. ECR retained a net smelter return royalty of up to 2%, to a maximum of $2.7 million in respect of future production from the SLM gold project.
Five turbines of the first wind power project in the Argentine province of Neuquén will start generating electricity at the end of March, according to AES, the USA company leading the $140 million project with capacity to generate 100 MW. In June, all 29 wind turbines of Neuquinos I Winds will be operational, as agreed with Nordex Acciona, the firm that hired AES for the work.
Beef exports from the four Mercosur member countries increased 17% in 2019, reaching a total of 2,704,000 tons, according to data from Rosgan – Rosario Stock Exchange. Argentina recorded a year-on-year increase in volume of exported meat of 54% (566,272 tons). Brazil, the largest exporter of the block, had an increase of 16%, Uruguay had no changes and Paraguay contracted its exports by -8%.
Volkswagen Argentina confirmed an investment of $ 800 million in its plants located in the provinces of Buenos Aires and Córdoba. Most of it will go to the production infrastructure for its new Tarek SUV, and the remaining $150 million to the production of the MQ281 6-speed transmission box for export to Europe.
Argentina bilateral trade with Brazil registered a negative balance of $20 million in January, according to data from the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade of Brazil. Argentine exports totalled $ 662 million (-16.5% year-on-year), while imports $ 680 million (-0.3%). In January 2019, Argentina had registered a surplus of $120 million