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Argentina Seeks Eased Economic Targets in IMF Loan Amid Drought Crisis

Argentina is exploring ways to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to further relax the economic targets in its $44 billion IMF loan program. This comes as a harsh drought impacts exports and risks plunging the nation's economy into recession.

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IMF Program Discussions Underway

A source familiar with the IMF program and ongoing talks between Argentina and the IMF stated that all options are being considered, with work to be done on the program. The source, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the discussions, did not provide additional details.

IMF's Reduction of Foreign Currency Reserves Requirement

The IMF has already lowered Argentina's required foreign currency reserves for the end of the year by $1.8 billion. This decision was based on the drought's effects on soybean and corn, Argentina's primary export products. Some analysts believe that further easing may be necessary.

Meeting Between Argentine Minister and IMF Deputy Director

IMF Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath reported having a "good meeting" with Argentina's Economy Minister Sergio Massa to discuss the loan program. Gopinath tweeted about the dialogue, emphasizing their commitment to fortifying the program amidst the challenging circumstances.

Economic Targets May Be Overly Optimistic

Some experts argue that the economic targets set within the loan program seem overly ambitious, particularly in light of Argentina's worsening macroeconomic outlook. The IMF's inflation forecast for 2023 is 60%, in contrast to analysts' predictions of over 100%. Retail prices rose by 7.7% in March, surpassing expectations, while Argentina's annual inflation rate reached 104.3%.