English version

Prices across all sectors were continually adjusted throughout 2018. Pharmabiz analyzed the movement of the hygiene and personal care basket monitored by Argentina’s national statistics institute INDEC. It increased by 65.6% while the general basket of goods measured by the body increased by 47.6%.

Argentina’s annual inflation for 2018 was the highest the country has seen since 1991. Figures released by the national statistics bureau INDEC showed that the final total variation in the consumer price index (IPC) for the year was 47.6%, the highest it has reached since the country’s struggle with hyperinflation.

And while this number alone sounds high, Pharmabiz looked deeper into the numbers specifically for the basket of hygiene and personal care products monitored by the INDEC, finding that inflation in this segment was even higher than overall inflation: a massive 65.6% over the 12 months of 2018.

Of all the products monitored by the INDEC, cotton was that which topped the table in the basket and was one of the goods that most went up in price. A 100g packet from the brand Estrella – from Molinos Río De La Plata – saw an accumulated price increase of 95.3% over the year – more than double the general CPI inflation.

The multinationals control the prices in many categories. When it comes to diapers, the giants of the mass market consumer goods P&G and Kimberly Clark control the whole market in Argentina. In deodorants sales are dominated by Anglo-Dutch Unilever with its brands Rexona; Dove; Axe; Impulse; and the recently launched Simple.

After cotton, the highest increase was seen in disposable diapers, a category controlled by P&G and Kimberly-Clark. This basic necessity for a sizeable group of consumers increased in price by 68.9% over 2018 according to the INDEC’s figures. See table below.

Diapers were one of the two products that most increased in price overall in December, increasing 7.9% in one month, the second highest increase seen in Argentina after the price of apples, which rose by 8.6%.

Deodorants, meanwhile, came third place in terms of the highest increases. This category, in which Anglo-Dutch Unilever marks the pace of pricing, saw an annual inflation of 61.1%.

The penultimate place on the table is occupied by shampoo, which increased by an average 59.3%, also placing it well above the general CPI rate of inflation, while soap increased in price by 56.6%.

Only in December, a basket of hygiene goods increased in price by 4.3% on November. According to INDEC, a 100g packet of cotton, a 125g soap, 150ml deodorant, 400ml shampoo and 10 disposable diapers cost $332,78 in November and AR$347.09 in December.

The figures for inflation in the sector close a year in which the Argentine peso plunged against the US dollar from a rate of US$1 = AR$18.8 in January 2018, to US$1 = AR$37.7 at the end of December.

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