Hundreds of Paraguayans rushed over the weekend to the coastal town of Nanawa – formerly Puerto Elsa – in the Presidente Hayes province to buy cheaper fuel smuggled from Clorinda, Argentina, it was reported.
Shopping caravans are to be seen every weekend but this time around it was twice as large, according to Última Hora.
People published pictures and commented on social media about their weekend plans to go to Nanawa in search of fuel and other products brought in illegally.
Officer Néstor Colmán of Nanawa’s 7th Police Precinct told Última Hora that the flow of people waned down at naptime Sunday, but Saturday’s traffic had been “like every weekend.”
The black market price for a liter of super (blue) gasoline in Nanava was G. 5,000 (US $ 0.72) while at pumps it sold for over G. 8,000. Meanwhile, a liter of premium diesel was available for between G. 5,500 and G. 6,000 against G. 8,300 at regular petrol stations.
The main cause for the price gap with Argentina lies in Government subsidies coupled with the strength of the local guaraní against the feeble Argentine peso.
Social media were split into two main groups: those who favored these under-the-table transactions and those who warned gasoline obtained through unofficial channels might result damaging to the vehicles because it was diluted with water.
After the latest increases, the price of regular 88-90 octane gasoline stands at no less than G. 7,180 per liter (against G. 4,480 in February of 2021). According to Última Hora calculations, tanking up a 45-liter vehicle costs between G. 318,600 and G. 401,400, depending on the type of fuel, which represents a G. 103,500 increase.
(Source: Última Hora)