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Like practically all mass consumer products, which were hit by the freeze last March -Resolution 100-, the 400 items that made up the “Care prices” program until then had only two increases in 2020: in the middle of the year and in September, with the aggravating factor for manufacturing companies that these goods had not been updated since January, when the plan was relaunched. With the conviction that the maximum prices should end gradually, the Government decided to create a larger basket of Care Prices and last week announced that the offer would be expanded to 660 items throughout the country, with an average price increase of 5 , 6 percent.
The authorizations for uploads, after a tough negotiation that had tense moments between the Ministry of Commerce team and the companies, varied according to the type of product and the cost increases that each item had been dragging. According to a list that you accessed InfobaeOf the warehouse products that remained within the program, those that increased the most were rice, grass and flour. In all three cases, the authorized increase was 9 percent.
In the industry, they highlighted that the gap between the increase in some costs of raw materials and the increase in authorized prices was between 4 and 10 times in 2020
For example, in rice, the Apóstoles brand “No se pasa” rose from $ 73.30 to $ 79.90 per kilo, while the fine length of that brand and Primor rose to $ 68. The long fine Gallo de Molinos Río de la Plata reappeared on the show, priced at $ 85 per kilo. The 500 gram package of Amanda yerba that was worth $ 133.70 today costs $ 145.70 and the Romance brand kilo (the soft one) climbed from $ 250 to $ 272.50. The most expensive kilo package in the program corresponds to Unión con palo suave, which increased to 291.40 pesos.
Industry sources told Infobae that the rise in costs for raw materials that rice production had in 2020 was 100%, with prices that rose only 10%, while in the case of yerba, raw materials increased 80% and prices, less than 20%. That is why, the producers interpret, Internal Commerce granted them a greater increase than the rest of the categories. Anyway, In no case will the increases be in two digits, as the Secretary of Internal Commerce, Paula Español, had anticipated them to the companies.
Flour is another product that had a strong cost increase in 2020 and the Government granted it a higher percentage than the average. The only brand that remains with this product in “Care Prices” is Morixe, which sells the self-rising flour, 000 and 0000. In all cases the increase was 9% and the new values are $ 67.40, $ 59.60 and $ 42.70, respectively. Another product that also had a 9% clearance was Unilever’s Hellmanns Mayonnaise (950 gram container), which went from $ 166.60 to $ 181.50. In this case, they specified in the business sector, the explanation is that Pasteurized liquid egg rose more than 30% from January to November 2020 and oil became more expensive 67% in one year.
In second place in order of increases, were the oil manufacturers, which were authorized to increase 8%. As an example, the 1.5-liter bottle of Cada día (AGD) brand sunflower oil went from being sold at $ 142 in the AMBA to $ 153, according to the list in force until the beginning of April. The same happened with the two versions (900 cc and 1.5 liter) of Primor, from Bunge, and Florencia, from Molino Cañuelas. The only one that increased less (6%) was Clovelly blend oil, also from Bunge.
Manufacturers of oils and some types of noodles were allowed to increase 8 percent
The noodles, meanwhile, had a diversity of increases. Some rose 8% – this is the case of those made by Canale and Matarazzo, from Molinos-, while others such as 308 (Fidergroup), which are made with eggs, or those made from wheat semolina, from Morixe, had a rise of 4%. In the case of flour and, therefore, pasta, the variation in the international price of wheat had a significant impact on costs, which increased 80% in pesos in one year, and which implies 75% of the total cost. Union brand soft cooked mate (pack of 25 units) also rose 8%, as did the breadcrumb and batter brands on the program.
Some dairy products were also located between 8% and 9%. La Armonía fresh milk had an authorization of 8.43% (the liter went from $ 45.65 to $ 49.50), while the Apóstoles brand rose from $ 52 to $ 56.50 (8.65%). In turn, Ilolay 1 liter drinkable yogurts rose from $ 85 to $ 92.65, that is, a 9% increase. Meanwhile, the kilo of La Paulina cream cheese, which until before the renovation cost $ 352.40, now climbed 8%, to $ 380.60.
The least expensive
The Bio brand Starbread products (flour, country bread, sliced bread, premixes and breadcrumbs), as well as Torpedo and Noel ice creams, remained frozen. For example, a kilo of this last brand will remain at $ 449 throughout the first quarter of the year. At the same time, between 2% and 3% of increase were the spices and condiments of La Parmesana, and the rest of the increases were between 4 and 6 percent.
The Government increased the supply of products within this program from 399 to 660 and the objective is for the list to continue growing, reaching 2,000 items
The Government increased the supply of products within this program from 399 to 660 and the objective is for the list to continue growing, reaching 2,000 items, but it will be difficult in the current context of inflationary acceleration and the official intention to also keep the price at bay. rest of the prices of the mass consumption basket. In fact, the articles that were already outside the maximum price freeze do not have a free way to increase, but must adjust the percentages authorized by the Secretary of Commerce. According to official sources, products may even be added in these months until April, when the values will be reviewed again.
“With the previous list, which had included top brand products, the share of the sales of the products of the Careful Prices program within the total turnover of the supermarkets had grown from 4% to 7%, which is why he hopes that with the new list that percentage will grow even more ”, he told Infobae the leader of Client Delivery of the consulting firm Nielsen, Maximilian Doff.
The participation of the program within the total turnover of supermarkets had grown from 4% to 7%, and it is expected that with the new list that percentage will grow even more (Maximiliano Doff)
According to Doff, “although it is a good tool for consumers to have an offer of products at lower prices, it does not serve to control inflation.” And how much prices rise this year, as well as how much wages grow, will be key in the behavior of mass consumption, which closed 2020 with a 6% drop in all channels (chains, warehouses, supermarkets, kiosks and bars / restaurants, specifically what refers to beverage dispensing), according to data from the Nielsen consultancy.
“The closing of last year maintains the trend that we have seen in previous years. Despite the fact that the comparison base is decreasing, consumption continues to fall, and the explanation is that the salary does not manage to compensate for the increase in inflation, “said Doff, who added that, abstaining from what new sanitary restrictions may imply as a result of a regrowth, 2021 should show a complicated first semester -part of the period It will be compared with months of 2020 where there was no pandemic- and a second part of the year where it could begin to show a recovery. If the official projection of a GDP that will reactivate around 5% is fulfilled, mass consumption will be between 2% and 3% above 2020, the specialist indicated.
But Today the scenario is very uncertain and will depend on whether consumers have more income to spend on the gondolas. The possibility that vaccination is not enough and the epidemiological context worsens adds a great deal of uncertainty to the already depressed economic scenario.
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