An increase in the smuggling of tires from Paraguay and Brazil has been reported in Argentina's northwestern provinces as the product is in short supply locally, which has also caused a spike in retail prices.
Vehicle and tractor tires have been brought in from abroad through illegal channels as a result of restrictions on imports, in addition to labor conflicts at the three national manufacturers.
A Misiones retailer told local media that in the past smuggling was limited to small tires but now even spare parts for tractors are brought in. He also admitted the same items are available across the border in either Paraguay or Brazil at half the price or even less.
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Meanwhile, local tire manufacturers have announced a trike for Thursday and Friday as the labor conflict reaches 120 days. The SUTNA union demands a 5% increase above inflation and a 200% increase on weekends. According to the employers, there is already a shortage of 1.4 million tires. Neither party (workers and employers) has moved an iota from their initial stance, nor has there been any solution from the National Labor Ministry, which failed yet again Tuesday to reach any kind of accomplishment after meeting Tuesday with SUTNA union leaders.
Pirelli, Bridgestone, and Fate produce some 500,000 tires per month, but since the union conflict began, there is a shortage of between 1.3 and 1.4 million tires, it was reported.
In this scenario, factories are getting special government permits to import tires, mainly from Brazil.