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Montevideo, April 23rd 2024 - 08:24 UTC



Now Argentines do their shopping across the border due to lower prices

Friday, February 16th 2024 - 11:40 UTC
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A “blue” dollar exchange rate in Bolivia makes things even more affordable to Argentines in bordering areas A “blue” dollar exchange rate in Bolivia makes things even more affordable to Argentines in bordering areas

After little over two months in office, President Javier Milei has managed to reverse a trend whereby people from neighboring countries crossed the border to do their shopping in Argentina. According to reports from the provinces of Misiones and Jujuy, it is now less expensive for Argentines to do it the other way around.

In the Paraguayan city of Ecarnación, Argentines have flocked recently to purchase school supplies, backpacks, shoes, and uniforms, where all the items are available for significantly less than in Posadas.

Argentines also cross into Bolivia's Pocitos and Yacuiba through the international bridge from Salvador Mazza, where the local Chamber of Commerce has reported a decrease in consumption of at least 50%, according to Spokesman Manuel Pieve, who was quoted by Salta/12. People buy mainly rice and sugar because the price difference stands between 30% and 40%.

“The border neighbor goes to buy by the kilo” for family consumption, said Pieve. “We are not talking about large quantities,” he said. He also pointed out that a “blue” (black market) quotation for the US dollar makes products more affordable for Argentine buyers.

As the beginning of the school year looms over, people prioritize purchases of these kinds of products, Pieve also explained. “People are thinking about the kids at school,” he said.

“Everything is very complicated, that is why we are asking the traders, especially small and medium-sized ones, for a little patience because we have no other way out but to wait for people to get back to normal because people are not going to live with these salaries, but we are all confident that this will be solved,” he added. Pieve also said that Argentines buy tires in Bolivia and Paraguay “at half the price.”

Bolivia's El País quoted Salvador Mazza food vendor Luis Cruz as saying that packages of rice, sugar, and noodles across the border were commonplace given the price difference. “Other things they are buying in Bolivia are bikes and air conditioners. I have friends who bring bikes, those good brand mountain bikes, and take them to Salta to sell,” he noted.

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