On Thursday Economy Minister Sergio Massa announced from Washington a new booster for exports in the form of a “dólar agro” extending beyond soy to other regional products with the aim of bolstering scant Central Bank reserves to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) targets.
The minister further pledged himself to simplifying Argentina’s complicated scheme of multiple exchange rates with such dollar variants as "tarjeta," "ahorro," "Qatar" and "Coldplay."
Massa said that he would be returning from Washington with the promise of US$3 billion from international organisations, as well as expressing optimism that the IMF executive board would imminently approve more flexible targets for reserve accumulation after accepting the difficulties caused by Argentina’s ongoing drought, thus potentially releasing a tranche of US$5.3 billion.
The minister promised fuller details on the "dólar agro" starting today and on exchange rate simplification (for imports as well as for exports) as from next Monday. The new package would include a "dólar soja 3″ in April only (following on similar programmes last September and November) while such regional products as peanuts, rice and wine would enjoy a favourable exchange rate for a more extended period of 90 days until the end of July with fuller details forthcoming in the course of this month.
"This is a programme to boost exports which aims at easing in a drought year the capacity of our exporters to honour their contracts, understanding the difficulties they suffer,” was all Massa had to say in Washington on Thursday. Other government officials were set to already approach farming sectors over the weekend to advance in the scheme.
Meanwhile the package of measures to be agreed with the IMF will be fine-tuned and wrapped up in mid-April.