Private Sector External Debt Report as of December 31, 2020

The private sector external debt totaled USD78,075 million as of December 31, 2020, recording a quarterly fall of USD953 million, which can be explained in full by a decrease in the financial debt (USD1,282 million)— as a counterpart to an increase in commercial debt (USD329 million).

External debt for exports of goods amounted to USD5,383 million as of December 31, 2020, up USD356 million against the lowest level of the previous quarter—mainly explained by the ”Manufacture of Food Products” sector, whose debts were up USD450 million over the quarter, but down USD3,112 million against the same period of 2019.

External debt for imports of goods amounted to USD22,047 million by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, with net payments for USD280 million vis-à-vis the end of the previous quarter, and USD1,092 million against the previous year.

External debt for services reached USD7,799 million as of December 31, 2020—up USD254 million against the end of the previous quarter (debts to related creditors amounting to USD101 million, and debts to unrelated creditors to USD153 million); and up USD810 million against the end of 2019 (debts to related creditors for USD453 million, and debts to unrelated creditors forUSD357 million).

The financial external debt totaled USD42,846 million as of December 31, 2020, falling USD1,282 million on a quarterly basis, and USD2,293 million y.o.y. The drop exhibited this quarter was mainly driven by a fall in non-residents' deposits in local financial institutions (USD734 million), by net payments of debt securities (USD 276 million), and by a drop in financial loans (USD216 million).

The BCRA set out guidelines for private sector companies to refinance—as from September 16, 2020—their foreign financial debts or local debts in securities denominated in foreign currency. This measure seeks to get companies aligned to the new requirements, thus ensuring the smooth functioning of the forex market (Communication A 7106).

In this context, the negotiations during the fourth quarter of 2020 resulted in fewer net purchases in the forex market for around USD500 million against the original maturities for the same period. In addition, the financial debt maturity profile was improved towards the end of 2020.

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April 27, 2021.

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