Government, supermarkets reach price agreement amid steep increases

Starting on Wednesday, 20 basic basket products will have a 20% discount for the next 60 days

Argentina’s supermarkets and convenience stores will apply a 20% discount to 20 basic basket products for 60 days, starting on Wednesday. The decision comes after meetings held by representatives of Super Argentinos (a network of supermarket and convenience stores) with Trade Secretary Pablo Levigne and Consumer Defense Undersecretary Fernando Blanco Muiño.

Prices have risen steadily since President Javier Milei’s government devalued the peso by 54%, with consulting firm Ecolatina projecting that December inflation will be 25%. A survey by the Herald’s sister publication Ámbito Financiero estimated that prices in supermarkets have increased by 29.5% since the inauguration.

Before taking office, Milei had been a vocal critic of price agreements and consistently said that the Trade Secretariat would “no longer exist in the sense that governments have historically given it” and that he would free as many prices as he could. 

He described price controls and regulations — such as the previous government’s Precios Justos (Fair Prices) agreement — as “an aberration.” Milei’s new price agreement program is called Precios Diferenciados (Differentiated Prices).

A communiqué signed by the members of Super Argentinos promised their “enduring commitment to the country and the consequent support to the current administration, offering products at very convenient prices for [their] customers.”

The statement said that Argentina is living in a new era “without price controls, freezes, and other forms of state intervention.” They added that businesspeople will contribute so that the inflationary scourge “affects consumers’ purchasing power to a lesser extent.”

The basket is made up of edible products such as sugar, yerba mate, noodles, flour, oil, crackers, cookies, eggs, milk, bread, vegetables (peas/lentils), tomato purée, dulce de leche, soft drinks, tea, and mate cocido. It also includes personal care products such as toilet paper and soap as well as household cleaning products like bleach, paper towels, and detergent.

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