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The lower rate of devaluation reduces inflationary pressure but other factors will drive increases in food prices

(Maximum Moon)
(Maximum Moon)

The rise in food prices in August may bring better news than it did in July if, as the first weekly estimates from private consultants showed, the rate of increase slows down in the first weeks of the month. However, in the gondola, and especially in the check-out line, an unpleasant surprise may arise tomorrow, although they will not affect the index prepared by INDEC, they could affect the pockets of consumers.

Various factors have aligned so that the rise in prices which was in July at 7.4% could fall by more than one point, which would leave it at a high level anyway. Mainly, the impact of the initial shock produced by the sudden closure of imports during the last week of June, contributed to the shock of the resignation of the former Minister of Economy, Martin Guzman, released financial tremors begin to stabilize. Although at a 30% higher value, alternative prices of the dollar have remained below $300 since the end of July, and the Central Bank has implemented a significant rate increase and, in recent days, has slowed down the devaluation of the official exchange rate .

This movement is directly opposite to the expectation not only of the market but, in particular, of the sectors such as the countryside that are waiting for an improvement in the exchange rate to enter the dollar and that the Center can, from his own, to normalize the exchange. market and, in the best cases, accumulate reserves. However, the objective is to widen the difference between the interest rate and the devaluation rate, as an incentive to bet on the return in pesos. In inflationary terms, the deceleration of devaluation, which until last week had a monthly rate of 5.5% compared to 4.9% in recent days, adds to the pressure on the price of food where it affects, for the most part, the official dollar release. price.

However, a level of increase in this category that accumulates 3% in the first weeks of August according to the survey of the consulting firm LCGa trend in which there are other private projections at the same time, which do not remove other factors that have little to do with the management of the macroeconomics, which generates an unwanted effect when paying a supermarket ticket.

That happens starting tomorrow black labels will begin to be seen on food warning consumers about excessive ingredients that are harmful to health such as fat, sugar, sodium, caffeine or sweetener. It is the result of the implementation of the initial labeling law, whose regulation was headed by the Ministry of Health and Anmat to promote healthy dietary habits in the population. It is because of this law that products containing some of the proposed warning stamps cannot be promoted. In other words, the marketing strategies that supermarkets often use, often in collaboration with manufacturers, such as a 2×1, 3×2 or 70% discount on the second unit, may not be applicable to foods and drinks that contain some of the labels that make consumers wary about it. excess sugar, fat, or sodium. “From the law, limitless restrictions begin to emerge. Part of marketing, quite critical, and other advertising”, they declared in one of the main food manufacturers.

The objective, predictably, is to discourage the consumption of these products, but from the industry to warn of the lack of differentiation. It is that the range of categories that can bear a seal is more than wide and products that are considered to have a high nutritional value, especially among dairy products, and are also widely consumed, although not as healthy. Both yogurt and white cheese, which are considered food with a high value of positive nutrients, such as a package of sweet cookies or some chips will be one of the black seals without discrimination. This will lead to broad categories of mass consumption out of the current modus operandi of promotional “discounts”. And when it comes to paying for the purchase, the consumer will suffer more than the fact that the INDEC shows a slightly lower index.

“The supermarkets have not yet realized the impact the Front Labeling Law will have on their business”, warned in another company in the food industry that, like most companies in the sector, asked for extensions to get more time to achieve formula changes in its products and to be able to avoid labeling. The terms granted, in many cases, are until February 2023, but not for all products. In the case of soft drinks, for example, there are leading brands that are already distributing containers with the new labelling.

“We don’t know how consumers will react and how to direct our campaigns to achieve discrimination, which the law does not consider. A snack or chocolate is not the same as a piece of cheese but, in terms of stamps, yes”, they declared from the food industry.

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