Argentina’s government on Sunday made its new ‘Programa de incremento exportador’ official, introducing a new temporary exchange rate of 200 pesos por US dollar for soy exports.
The scheme is part of a move to boost exports and stabilise Central Bank reserves. The plan, announced by Economy Minister Sergio Massa at a press conference last Sunday, came after extensive talks with the country’s largest agricultural exporters and business chambers.
Producers have reportedly pledged themselves to selling at least US$5 billion worth of soy and its byproducts. The measure was published via Emergency Decree 576/2022 and will last until October.
Following its introduction, the ‘soy dollar’ thus joins six other exchange rates valid in this country.
– Argentina’s official exchange rate is controlled by the Central Bank and divided into retail and wholesale types. The former referential exchange rate is taken as the basis for calculating the others while the latter is the exchange rate of reference for overseas markets. The retail exchange rate began the week at 137 pesos (buy) and 145 pesos (sell) while the wholesale rates were 138.83 and 139.03 pesos respectively.
– The ‘dólar ahorro’ (or ‘solidario’) is for those buying at the official exchange rate for saving or tourist purposes with surcharges of 30 percent thanks to the ‘PAIS’ tax and a further 35 percent for subsequent deduction from income tax. As a consequence of restrictions imposed by the government, only some people can have access to dollars at that price, capped at a monthly US$200. The current exchange rate at the end of last week was 239.25 pesos.
– The ‘dólar tarjeta’ is the value for those using their credit cards to pay for services priced in dollars (like Netflix or Amazon) or purchases made during trips abroad. Like the dollar for savers, this exchange rate is also subject to the 30 percent PAIS tax but also a surcharge of 45 percent for subsequent deduction from income tax, not 35 percent. Following last Thursday’s attack on Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, it closed last week at 255.85 pesos.
– The famous ‘dólar blue’ (or parallel dollar) is the name given to the exchange rate on illegal markets. This is the most common form of access to the United States dollar for most Argentines, although beyond government limits. It started this week at 283 pesos (buy) and 285 pesos (sell).
– Argentina’s ‘dólar bolsa’ (o MEP, for ‘mercado electrónico de pagos’) is a legal form of obtaining foreign currency via the purchase and sale of bonds quoted in pesos (like AL30). Afterwards it is converted into the same bond quoted in dollars. It started this week at 279.83 pesos (sell).
– ‘Dólar CCL’ (‘contado con liquidación’) is another financial tool permitting the exchange of pesos into dollars. For many investor companies this is the main form of acquiring foreign currency and taking it out of the country legally. In this case shares or debt bonds quoted in pesos in this country or some other international market are purchased in pesos like the MEP but those assets are then transferred to a foreign account and sold for dollars. This exchange rate started the week at 288.45 pesos (buy) and 301. 12 pesos (sell).