Shortage of dollars and the Milley effect: the uncertainties that explain trade pessimism

From early morning, the Alvear Icon Hotel in Puerto Madero began filling up with business leaders, politicians and journalists to take part in the traditional summit Organized each year by the American Chamber of Commerce in Argentina, AmCham. Unlike other versions, The pessimism among businessmen was evident from the first coffee in the morning, fueled by a new level of uncertainty in Argentina. Perhaps because of this need to search for answers, a record attendance of 1,500 people was reached, up 50% from 2022.

short term, The biggest concern for the private sector is the lack of dollars, which paralyzes the normal functioning of the economy. In the medium term, the Liberal candidate’s voting intent will grow Javier Milly – who declined the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce – and Lack of unity in Together for Change Equally concerned with institution economic.

We are getting into the pre-election period with all the macro variables in a very messy state. That’s all powers. We feel the end of a way to rule the country. whoever the next president is, There is downright tiredness in the way the policy has been implemented. Will be noticed in the election because Economic crises are becoming deeper and more frequentOne of the leading businessmen in the industrial sector said without hesitation and reserve.

Although his company benefited from switch With China and he got a safe conduct that would allow him access to the yuan to continue importing inputs from that country, his concern is that Today’s offer is not guaranteed for stations. He added, “We pay our suppliers for 200 days. This is not usual. There are a lot of vulnerabilities and unpredictability about the upcoming scenarios. No candidate shows a level of cohesion and program that convinces this will change in the short term.”

Businessmen speak during the American Chamber of Commerce Summit in CairoCeleste Alonso/AFS

In another company in the energy sector, with constant communication with the Minister of Commerce, he told this outlet From the government they directly reply that “there are no dollars to import it”, even if it is a major input for the energy supply. His business juggles the impossibility of moving forward with new projects due to import restrictions and the fight for the country to stop defaulting on suppliers.

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Regarding the possibility of it being International Monetary Fund (IMF) Help the government again with more payments, in summit From AMCham believes that European countries will pressure so that “another food supplier does not fall into crisis” after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which had an impact on global inflation.

In this regard, the US Ambassador to Argentina, Mark Stanley, also gave his support to Argentina, which could be a nod to the country, as it is the largest contributor to the International Monetary Fund. “There is a shortage of food and fuel in the world because of the invasion of Ukraine. Argentina can cooperate with the United States and other countries to bring food and fuel to the world. Argentina can be part of the solution and strengthen its economy at the same time. Despite the challenges that the country faces, I am optimistic because it has excellent wealth in the countryside of oil, gas, minerals, and the most important asset is human capital. There are always challenges, but we have a better chance of success if we face them togetherHe said it when reading his speech to businessmen in perfect Spanish.

So the big question for attendees is what will the fund demand in exchange for handing over new dollars, since due to the drought, Argentina was unable to achieve two of the targets agreed upon in the first quarter: reserve build-up and fiscal deficitAlthough the Ministry of Economy cut spending by 6% in real terms.

The alternative that the Fund is pressing for a sharp devaluation again affects businessmen’s scenariosDespite the lack of confidence that the team of the Minister of Economy, Sergio MassaGo and present a stabilization plan, less than three months before the primaries, to make this jump in the exchange rate without causing hyperinflation.

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During the day, presidential candidates passed through the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo Daniel Schulleyfor the ruling party; Patricia Bullrich and Horacio Rodriguez Larretafor the opposition, and Juan Chiaretti, for alternative Peronism. A big absentee was Mellie, who declined the invitation of what he calls “ex-businessmen”.

The liberal economist did not fare well at the recent red circle event organized at the Llao Llao Hotel in Bariloche. His dollarization proposal is seen by the business community as unfeasible, and his lack of equipment breeds distrust to face economic problems..

Patricia Bullrich walking with Facundo Gómez Minujín, during the AmCham Summit

“Mili reflects fatigue, channeling angry voting and society’s discontent. His dollarization proposal is impractical, but it goes deep into society because, as Chief Justice Horacio Rosati puts it, the country has run out of currency. At my company, good things go hand in hand with team building, common sense, and reasonableness. Today I do not see these values ​​\u200b\u200bin Millie, which are what a leader needs to run a countrysaid the industrial businessman.

Another business leader wondered how, if Milley won, he would get necessary economic reforms through Congress without building bridges with other political spaces.

Political analyst Juan Germano, of the consulting firm Isonomía, confirmed that the scenario that worries businessmen is more likely: that Bullrich and Larita’s votes do not remain in space after STEP, when one of the candidates is defeated. Yesterday, leaders came together for change, but there was no unity to post a picture of the meeting together.

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Unlike in 2015, in this PASO there is an intense internal rivalry between Larreta and Bullrich. Each one plays their own game, assuming that at the end of the track all the sounds in the space are kept. The big challenge for Together for Change today is how to find the A kind of computer that allows the promotion of different profiles, But the realization that he must care more than before about the brand, the umbrella, and the shell.”Germano said.

For the political advisor, With the current economy, the odds of the ruling party winning the elections look toughBut he noted: “It’s not clear who from the opposition will win and I think in this moment of fragility, if the economy gets that bad, Millie will probably benefit the most.” And the dollar shortage, in turn, fuels the notion of the economy’s poor performance, adding to the uncertainty.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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