For the second day running the Argentine Peso was virtually worthless in neighboring Uruguay foreign exchange houses. On Tuesday the Argentine Peso was worth zero, and on Wednesday there was a modest ten Uruguayan cents offered for the battered Argentine currency.
Uruguay which has a free market for currencies, quotations in money exchange houses include obviously the US dollar, the Euro, and from the two largest South American economies, Argentina and Brazil, Peso and Real. In normal times, the two neighboring countries are Uruguay's main trade partners behind China, and there is a fluid retail traffic, depending on basket produce prices, along both borders, a cyclical tolerated smuggling both ways, although now suspended because of the pandemic.
On Wednesday Uruguay's leading bank, which belongs to the State, Banco Republica, was offering ten cents for each Argentine Peso, and selling for 55 cents.
Back in 2001, the volatile Argentine Peso was equivalent to 14 Uruguayan Pesos, but in 2002, it was down to 3 Pesos and in 2003 it climbed to 10 UY pesos. However since then it has been sliding, and with not many prospects of recovery since the gap between the official exchange of the Argentine Peso in Buenos Aires is in the range of 80 pesos, and the 160 in the black market. Most analysts agree that until this gap is brought to a reasonable level, and people can buy dollars, now mostly barred, the situation will persist.
Meanwhile most Uruguayans regret they can't travel to Argentina for shopping, –given the pandemic restrictions and mandatory quarantine period–, because with dollars they can live as kings.