Argentine Peso Drops 10th Day as Importers Seek Dollars for Debt

  • NDF traders see currency at 14.9 pesos per USD in three months
  • Argentine peso leads emerging-market currency losses this year

Argentina’s peso slid for a 10th consecutive day, reaching a record, as importers stepped up demand for dollars as they seek to pay off overdue obligations.

The Argentine peso slid 0.6 percent to 14.82 per dollar as of 10:21 a.m. in New York, bringing its decline this year to 12 percent, the most among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Registered importers, which are each allowed to buy as much as $4.5 million a month to pay debts accrued before currency controls were partially removed two months ago, led demand for the U.S. currency, according to Gustavo Quintana, a currency trader at PR Corredores de Cambios.

“The market is headed toward finding a floor close to 15 pesos per dollar, the levels that had been expected for December,” Quintana said. “Exporters did sell a lot of dollars last week, but demand continues to be high, pushing on the peso levels as the market seeks its equilibrium.”

President Mauricio Macri removed currency controls on Dec. 17 as part of an effort to end Argentina’s exclusion from global capital markets. The peso fell 27 percent on its first day of freedom.

Analysts and traders had forecast the peso would trade between 14 per dollar and 15 per dollar after the float, in line with a parallel exchange rate used for financial transactions. Traders of non-deliverable forward contracts in New York are wagering that the peso will fall to 14.9 per dollar in three months.