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In Argentina, pigs fly

Here is a quickie for those tracking food prices in Argentina. Granted. There are probably vast differences in prices when shopping in select areas of the city compared to faraway places in the province. It is also very likely prices are heavily discounted when shopping in bundles, like in Macro stores or similar wholesale outfits. But this graphic can provide a reliable floor of what prices are for red meat in Argentina, being December even more expensive for staples such as ribeyes, new york strips, asado, flap meat, filet mignon, short ribs, skirt and other cuts. Find a currency converter here.

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Icy news

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Like a bucket of cold water, news of ice cream parlors increasing their prices 15% for the summer season was received with equally cold feelings. Just as it is happening with other foods, ice cream cannot escape the inflationary wrath. Bigger chains stated that prices won’t change till the season is over so ice cream lovers are looking for roughly the same prices for their favorite flavors up until March of next year. Just to put things into perspective the price for a 2 pounder (1 kilogram) may range from 23 pesos/kg (u$d 6) to 70 pesos/kg (u$d 17-18) in the case of premiums.

Manufacturers think they can get away with the increases given that they are well below official inflation figures of about 25%/year. As it usually happens, they blame their own cost chain to have pushed prices up (raw materials, etc.) and thus, increases are only being transfered to the final consumer.

With this latest increase, prices have gotten to where they were before the collapse of the currency in 2002. At the time, 1 kg of ice cream was approximately u$d 16/kg.- Just like with many other items, prices have reached the same comparative value they had with the old parity of  $ 1 – u$d 1 pre-collapse. Still, inflation has not been an obstacle for some of the national chains to keep their expansions current. One of the cheapest products in the market belongs to the Grido chain, with 850 branches and headquarters in Cordoba. They are pricing their products at around $23/25 pesos /kg. Grido will be opening another 40 ice cream shops in the city of Buenos Aires and the outskirts during 2011.

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