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ECONOMY | 23-08-2023 15:56

Brazil pitches plan to guarantee exports to Argentina in yuan

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration searching for ways to aid Argentina amid its intensifying economic crisis, while also attempting to ensure Brazilian exporters are paid for sales.

Brazil’s government has proposed a plan to Argentina that would use yuan to guarantee export payments in order to bypass its neighboring nation’s serious cash shortages and keep trade flowing, according to Finance Minister Fernando Haddad.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration has searched for ways to aid Argentina amid its intensifying economic crisis, while also attempting to ensure Brazilian exporters are paid for sales to the country’s third-largest trading partner.

“It will be a good thing for Brazilian exporters, and it will be great news if Argentina agrees,” Haddad told reporters Wednesday in South Africa, where he is attending the summit of BRICS nations. “They can have a flow of sales with 100 percent guarantee.”

The idea is to initially guarantee between US$100 million and US$140 million in trade through an exchange made by Banco do Brasil SA, which would convert yuan to reais to pay exporters, Haddad said. The government wants to test the plan before deciding whether to expand it.

Brazil is still awaiting a response from President Alberto Fernández’s government, Haddad said. 

Spiraling inflation and a record drought have battered the Argentine economy this year, pushing it to the brink of recession.

Facing foreign reserve shortages, Argentina has in recent months tapped Chinese swap lines to help make loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund. Yuan use has also risen to record highs as companies struggle to find dollars to finance imports and operations.

The use of yuan, Haddad said, will ensure that there is “no risk of default” on any payments.

by Simone Iglesias, Bloomberg

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