Punta Arenas in the extreme south of Chile is suffering a critical shortage of staples mainly sugar, rice and flour as a direct consequence of the Argentine farmers conflict that has been dragging for over 100 days.
The city and most of the region is supplied for these and other staples such as oil from neighboring Argentina where they are cheaper and can arrive faster since they don't have the obstacles of the Chilean geography if supplies are purchased in the capital Santiago and shipped from Valparaiso Ivan Alcaino general manager of the Free Zone area in Punta Arenas said that all food importers have been exposed to the consequences of the Argentine farmers' conflict with the government which has been supported by road blocks and bans on exports of grains and oilseeds. The dispute was later accompanied by grain truckers who are demanding a quick solution to the problem that has left them out of business for weeks on end. "The conflict has impeded major trucks loaded with staples from moving inside Argentina and much less crossing, so there's a great shortage since most of these products are imported", said Alcaino. The Free Zone businessmen believe the situation will see inventories back to normal in thirty days however prices for the new supplies "will be higher".