The Corner

And Then They Came for the Ketchup

The Independent explains:

Argentines have grown used to food shortages and strict foreign exchange controls, but could running out of ketchup be the final straw? On Monday, McDonald’s Argentina apologised to customers citing a shortage problem for the lack of ketchup but that didn’t stop angry customers from using social media to vent their frustration- with some arguing the situation reflects the dire state of the Argentine economy under President Cristina Kirchner.

Under Kirchner, the widow and political heir of former president Nestor Kirchner, the Argentine government has introduced a number of restrictions on transactions with foreign currency and limiting imports…

Jimena Blanco, senior Latin America analyst at Maplecroft, told The Independent: “The problem varies from week to week, product to product, but it’s largely related to Argentina’s foreign exchange controls.”

“In this case, it appears that the sachets are packaged in Chile,” she added. “McDonald’s Argentina may have the cash to pay for it in pesos – it’s the lack of access to dollars that’s usually a problem for Argentine companies.”

…Last year, Argentina saw shortages of basic products such as wheat, corn, tomatoes and cooking oil. Now it can add Ketchup to the list.


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