Paraguayans enter Brazil to buy cheaper gas and food
The drop in the price of gasoline in Brazil and the devaluation of the real compared to the guarani (currency of Paraguay) are attracting Paraguayans to buy here. The Guarani is worth much less than the real one, but it was still advantageous. R$ 1 is quoted at around 1,300 guaranis. There was a devaluation of 8.5% of the real against the guarani in one year.
What’s happening? Paraguayans are crossing the border from Brazil to go to Foz do Iguaçu (PR) to fill up their car and shop in supermarkets, even with inflation here. With the reduction in gasoline prices by Petrobras, the movement of vehicles at stations in Foz do Iguaçu, which is on the border with Ciudad del Este, increased.
What is the price of fuel in the two countries? In Foz do Iguaçu, the average price for regular gasoline is R$ 5.90 and for added gasoline R$ 5.96, according to a survey by the ANP (National Petroleum Agency).
In Paraguay, where there are three types of gasoline, the values vary, but they are all higher. The cheapest fuel costs around BRL 6.69 and the most expensive around BRL 7.80.
How is the search? Manager of three gas stations in Foz do Iguaçu, Marildo Matiello says that, in one of the establishments, Paraguayans represent 50% of the clientele. Sales doubled as of the 20th. In order to be able to serve consumers, the post extended its opening hours from 10pm to midnight.
Most Paraguayans, says Matiello, are looking for gasoline with additives. One of the explanations is the type of vehicle. A good part is large, like SUVs, which leads owners to look for better quality gasoline. Another option much sought after by Paraguayans is to fill up in Argentina, where fuel is more affordable compared to Brazil, ranging from R$3.40 to R$3.70.
best price and quality
What do Paraguayans say? A resident of Ciudad del Este, Irma Dominguez has started to fill up her car every time she comes to Foz to shop. She filled the 41.5 liter tank of a Suzuki vehicle with R$ 240. Like her, most Paraguayans arrive with reais to pay for fuel, avoiding making the exchange on the Brazilian side where the tendency is to be more expensive.
Lawyers Agustin Britez and Gladys Arévalo also often frequent Brazilian posts. Britez says the gasoline on this side of the border is better quality and cheaper.
Why is it more expensive in Paraguay? CEO of the Brazil-Paraguay Business Center (Braspar), economist Wagner Enis says that the price of gasoline in Paraguay is high because the country does not have a refinery and imports the product. There are no taxes levied on the product, so it is not possible to reduce the value of the fuel.
Regarding the guarani, Enis says that the currency is stable and has not suffered devaluation like other Latin American currencies.
Movement in supermarkets
A good part of the Paraguayans who supply in Foz are already in the habit of shopping in the city. The supermarkets located in the region of Ponte da Amizade, the road that connects Foz do Iguaçu to Ciudad del Este, are the ones that most receive foreign customers.
What other products are cheaper in Brazil? The list of products at a good price for Paraguayans in Brazil is long. Fruits, vegetables, coffee, chocolate, juices, among other items. Paraguayans say that prices in Foz are 30% to 40% cheaper.
A Brazilian who has lived in Paraguay for more than 10 years, agronomist Caima França, 42, always passes by supermarkets in Foz when he crosses the border.
He says that Brazilian products exported to Paraguay are 10% to 40% more expensive there. What is worth buying in Brazil is chicken, national grape juice, dog food, fruits and vegetables, cleaning and hygiene items.
Grape juice, for example, is available in Brazil from R$9 to R$14. In Paraguay, it costs more than R$20. Chicken in Paraguay is 30% more expensive.
Is something cheaper in Paraguay? Paraguayan Patrícia Molinari, 51, says she makes purchases in Foz every 15 days and, in addition to the price, the quality also pays off. Red meat is one of the few products that Paraguayans do not buy in Brazil because the price in the country is even more affordable.