In March, the construction sector recorded its second consecutive monthly decline, dropping 0.5%, even though due to the low base of comparison, the year-on-year figure showed an increase of 97.6%. In this context, the accumulated figure for the first quarter shows an improvement of 42.4%.
With a jump that more than doubled the price of corn, from $130 to $299.6 per ton last year, it has a decisive impact on chickens and eggs, on dairy products and is changing the way of producing meat: cattle are leaving the feedlot pens to graze in the fields. The price doubled in one year due to the drought in the USA and Brazil and sustained world demand for food. In Argentina, this is excellent news from the point of view of dollar income from exports, but domestic food prices threaten to continue rising.
Banco Provincia announced that the Buenos Aires entity already has funding of 6,000 million pesos ($63.97 mn) to finance agribusiness at the beginning of the new fine sowing season, with wheat and barley as protagonists of a campaign that is about to start with a nationwide investment of $1.91 billion. At the national level, winter sowing promises 23 million tons for a value of $3.79 billion in exports by the end of the year.
Mercado Libre reported its first-quarter results yesterday. Its net revenues grew 114% to $1.4 billion. It sold 222 million items, an increase of 110.2% compared to the same period in 2020. Mercado Pago processed $14.7 billion in transactions, up 81.8%. However, the e-commerce giant lost $34 million in the quarter, a net loss of $0.68 per share. The foreign exchange loss of $15.1 million is attributable to the additional cost of accessing dollars through an indirect mechanism due to restrictions imposed by the Argentine government on the purchase of dollars at the official exchange rate.
The indigence rate rose from 5.7% in 2010 to 9.8% in 2020. 15.7% in the case of children due to the effects of the pandemic. Without social assistance, this number would have risen to 27% of the population.
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 formalized the creation of the National SME Training Agency, a project for improving production processes in which the national Government will invest 2.3 billion pesos ($24.56 million) and enable the training of more than 170,000 workers from 40,000 companies this year.
Coparticipation transfers to the provinces grew by 36.5% annually in April, in real terms, according to a report by the Argentine Center for Political Economy (CEPA). They made the comparison against April 2020, the month with the worst economic figures since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic due to strict sanitary restrictions.
For the 2021/22 Fine Season, production expected to reach 23.6 million tons. Wheat would remain at 6.5 million hectares, and barley would expand its area to 1.15 million hectares, increasing 28% over the previous season. If these estimates realize, the Gross Domestic Product of both chains will reach $4.57 billion, and wheat and barley exports would rise to $3.79 billion.
Sales in retail stores grew 40.8% in April concerning the same month of 2020, and so far this year, they have accumulated an increase of 6.8%. In the monthly comparison April-March 2021, sales fell 8.3%, a decline caused by the seasonality of the season. Source: Ámbito