Argentina freezes prices of mass consumption goods until early January 2022 in a fight against inflation. Food prices increased more than the overall inflation in the last few years.
On October 20, the ministry of internal trade published a resolution freezing prices of 1,432 products of mass consumption. Prices will also be reverted to what they were in October 1.
The decision was made without an agreement with the main food industry chamber, the COPAL, after a week-long discussion failed to end with an arrangement. The government tries to tackle the rapid inflation in the country, +53% in the last 12 months, but the COPAL argues that the food and beverage industry doesn’t drive general inflation.
In September, the COPAL highlights that general inflation was at 3.5% in the country while the food and non-alcoholic drinks prices only increased by 2.9% in a month, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses. The data is correct and so far in 2021, food prices increased by 36.6%, slightly less than the overall inflation rate of 37%.
However, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, prices from the food and drink industry increased 7%, 6% and 16% more than the general inflation in Argentina. Over the few years, food prices actually increased more than the overall inflation.
The price-control list includes hygiene products like diapers, tampons, detergent or shaving cream. Some essential food items are also part of the regulation such as pasta, oil, milk, chicken which also contains some soda, ice cream, wine or pet food brands. Some insect repellents, sun creams or notebooks are also among the 1,432 regulated items nationwide.
Earlier this year, Argentina also stopped beef export for a month trying to stop inflation of prices in the country.