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By: Aldo Leporati
With some green shoots ("Brotes verdes") that had already begun to appear between November and December of last year, the industry began 2017 with a breeze. Preliminary data from private consultants, including FIEL and Orlando Ferreres, which measure the evolution of manufacturing activity indicate that January will show a year-on-year growth, something that was not reflected since the first month of 2016.
The growth of 50% in automotive production, the increase in cement shipments (due to the reactivation of construction), and the food sector, driven by oilseed milling and the 11% increase in beef and pork, strongly influenced the growth. Agrochemicals are also adding up and, within the metallurgical sector, agricultural machinery.
The improvement will be weak because Brazil will pull little and durable consumption will recover, but not so much. In this regard, the Argentine Industrial Union agreed that Argentina's main trading partner, although it stopped falling, is still poor and with an important idle capacity, so that there will be no industrial traction through exports to this market.
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