Fair Prices: the official commitment to slow inflation in July


The Ministry of Commerce increased the Fair Prices program to different items with the objective of containing inflation. However, since these agreements were signed, the products remain unavailable in a large part of the interior of the country and others grew above the rates published by INDEC.

Shortages, increases higher than those agreed and non-compliance by distributors are some of the most common complaints, according to references from the sectors consulted by PROFILE.

The fruit and vegetable basket was renewed in July, but with a 39.1% increase in the price of potatoes, well above the 24.7% set by INDEC for June.

The values ​​of these goods apply only to the AMBA, but the neighborhood Fair Prices were announced for the entire country.

“Here they were never achieved. Nothing outside of hypermarkets,” Mario Sarli, a member of the Paraná Warehouse Center, assured PROFILE. “We have two wholesalers and we never had those prices,” he added.

Although food and beverages grew, according to INDEC data, well below general inflation in June, Sarli explained that “they started July with very important increases”, especially in dairy products. “Liter yogurt must be sold for a thousand pesos,” he explained.

“In the interior there are no Fair Prices,” Héctor González Pavan, from the General Confederation of Warehousemen (CGA), assured PROFILE. “For us, the basics, what people wear the most, increased between 9% and 10%,” he added.

“In Río Cuarto, a single wholesaler made the agreement for 42 products, of which they only had 21 in stock,” said Adrián Roberto Morales, president of the Chamber of Storekeepers of that city.

“With that low provisioning it is impossible to implement that program.”

According to Fernando Savore, president of the Federation of Storekeepers of the province of Buenos Aires (FABA), of the eight wholesalers that are committed, only one complies. “It’s hard to get merchandise like oil or rice,” he said. “On the one hand are the wholesalers who do not accompany and on the other the companies that apparently do not replace products either,” he explained.

The provision of merchandise at agreed prices in supermarkets in the interior is also compromised. According to a survey by PROFILE, the big chains display posters, but empty shelves.

Neighborhood businesses denounced that price agreements generate shortages. “There is a tomato puree that at the beginning of the program I got, I bought it, I put it at the agreed price and I not only sold everything I had bought, but I also sold my stock,” Savore said. “Today I no longer have that puree, I lost my stock, and the profitability is too low.”

The item of fuels also presented increases until August 15. But the oil companies have been warning for some time that the agreed increase of 4.5% per month is very low, and in July they brought the update forward by a week.

With cell phone and home appliance companies, the Ministry of Commerce agreed on fixed prices until August 15.

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