Thursday 9 December 2021

Central Bank makes largest intervention of the year to control exchange rate

One of the several reasons that explain the increase in the dollar exchange with respect to the colon is the lower income of foreign currency due to the decrease in tourism during the last quarter of the year.

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QCOSTARICA – The dollar exchange reached ¢645 for one US dollar for the sale at the banks on Wednesday, causing the Banco Central (Central Bank) to carry out the highest intervention so far this year: US$6.1 million.

Tourists exchanging currency at the Juan Santamaría Airport. One of the several reasons that explain the increase in the dollar exchange with respect to the colon is the lower income of foreign currency due to the decrease in tourism during the last quarter of the year.

The last intervention, with the dollar reserves the Central Bank maintains in its possession, was carried out on September 9 for US$1.4 million.

“It is expected that the exchange rate will continue to rise moderately, decreasing a little at the end of the year due to seasonal factors: increased supply for the payment of taxes and Christmas bonus,” said Luis Diego Herrera, economic analyst at the Grupo Financiero Acobo.

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The current exchange rate scheme is governed by the supply and demand of dollars, therefore, at some times of the year there may be upward pressure and in others, downward.

“Between the months of September and the first half of November of each year, there is generally an increase in the demand for dollars by companies, to make purchases for the Christmas imports. This is a seasonal effect,” said Roxana Morales, an economist at Aldesa Valores.

Wednesday night the Central Bank has set the official dollar exchange at s ¢633.38 for the buy and ¢640.10 for sell, but by this Thursday morning, it had been adjusted to ¢630.99 for the buy and ¢636.59 for the sell. The change overnight is a rarity. At the Q we typically manually post the exchange rate shortly after midnight updates the rate.

At the banks, the rate remained unchanged at the publication of this report.

During this month, the dollar exchange has shown an upward trend that implies up to ¢8, since October 1.

Back in January, the sale of the dollar was an average of ¢618, which progressively increased by ¢22 in these 10 months.

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Among the conjunctural factors of the greater demand for dollars due to year-end imports, is the increase in the prices of raw materials and international maritime freight, as the Q reported on Wednesday.

Also affecting the exchange rate is the fact that the third quarter is historically low in terms of tourism dollars, in addition to the fact that the pandemic continued to limit foreign exchange earnings for that concept during that period.

 

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