Argentina's fruit and vegetable market has experienced two turbulent weeks since the government decreed the health emergency due to the coronavirus. According to Mariano Winograd, a specialist in the fruit and vegetable market, two weeks ago, there was a greater collection of food and the consumption of fresh products increased. The supply of the markets was still normal because there were no obstacles in the municipalities, but purchases at the wholesale and retail level were similar to those that usually take place at Christmas.
However, “in the second week of quarantine, many mayors unilaterally decided to close the passage of trucks, making it difficult to supply products in the markets, and they even closed some markets in different parts of the country with various health arguments that did not take into account the supply issue, which is as important as the virus issue," Winograd stated.
The three products most affected by the supply obstacles and the enormous demand were potatoes, carrots, and oranges, which led to an increase in their prices.
Winograd said that it was very difficult to talk about normalization in the current situation because one would have to take into account stock, flows, and forecasts.
The transport situation should be resolved and the supply assured in the coming weeks. The situation, however, could vary according to the evolution of the epidemic. "We are taking it day by day. Today there was less pressure on products and prices than on Tuesday, which was the first day of the week with the market open, and this is because the weekend is expected to be colder and people tend to consume less fresh produce and more pasta and stews. However, it is impossible to foresee if this situation will continue like this next week or if things will change," he said.