Despite the strict controls established by the Government, there are increases in the food sector well above inflation. What is happening?
Despite the price controls commanded by Matías Kulfas and Paula Español From the Ministry of Productive Development, there are increases in the food item well above inflation. This is how different private surveys have been detecting it. And that they question the scope of these official programs – the most important is Maximum Prices – since they only reach large supermarkets, but leave out the neighborhood shops.
The Isepci (Institute for Social, Economic and Citizen Policy Research) has been surveying the variation in prices in supermarkets and warehouses in the Greater Buenos Aires for several years.
In the report he has just published, he came to the conclusion that, on average, the basic food basket became more expensive by no less than 7.85% during March.
There are included several of the warehouse products included in “Maximum Prices“, which the Government has just extended until mid-May, and that the businessmen who manufacture these products want to take them out of circulation.
Inflation in food does not give in and unleashes interns in the economic team
What happens? Why do foods that should be frozen go up in price?
Basically, the control program reaches large retail chains but leaves out the “Chinese” supermarkets and neighborhood stores, where prices move freely. Those business They must be supplied in wholesale stores that are not part of the official plan and that, logically, sell to the “Chinese” and grocers at prices more expensive than what the “Maximum Prices” mark.
According to the Isepci survey, bread, crackers and milk sachet they topped the hikes last month. In fourth place was the 900 milliliter bottle of mixed oil.
The big underlying question refers to the measures that the government It may take to slow down this dynamic. Otherwise, this 2021 will become the fourth consecutive year of loss of purchasing power.
Between 2018 and 2021, wages they lost 20% of purchasing power, on average. What was patented in the extensive recession that hurts the economy, aggravated by the pandemic over the past year.
From the official offices they affirm that the increase in the cost of raw Materials it is a global phenomenon, which exceeds Argentina. Which is true. But that obviously harms more to an economy that runs with an inflation rate higher than 40% per year. It is seen that the control measures are not enough.
On the other hand, and as it happened in previous months, the fresh products they also showed strong increases. Meat and dairy products again showed increases.
That question holds in internal government. The gaze is set on the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Basterra, who within the cabinet they condemn as ineffective in the implementation of measures to avoid increases in butcher shops. From the Cabinet, some of his colleagues assure that most of these hikes “are taken by the refrigerators; not even the producers.”
To take into account, these were the main increases in March, according to the Isepci survey.
MARCH 1 QUARTER INCREASE
PAN (KG) $ 120 + 14.3% + 20.0%
COOKIES (KG) $ 272 + 9.1% + 10.9%
MILK (SACHET) $ 76 + 8.6% + 8.9%
OIL MIX $ 140 + 7.7% + 21.7%
YERBA (½ KG) $ 170 + 6.3% + 13.3%
BUTTER (100 GR) $ 85 + 6.2% + 6.3%
AVERAGE INCREASE FOOD WAREHOUSE MARCH + 7.85%