Argentines up in arms as McDonald's runs out of ketchup amid peso pressure

McDonald's Argentina apologised for the lack of ketchup citing a shortage problem and asking customers to use other dressings

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. Critics claim Kirchner's socialist polices are scaring off investors.

Now, Latin America's second largest economy is moving dangerously close to a full-blown currency crisis as investor confidence in the peso declines in the face of rising inflation and falling reserves.

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."

One angry customer tweeted: "Please Cristina (Kirchner) let us have ketchup."

Another user wrote on the social network: "Not ketchup, Cristina. Not Ketchup."

McDonald's Argentina apologised for the lack of ketchup sachets citing a shortage problem, and asking customers to use other dressings

The Argentine government has soften its forex rules reducing the tax rate on dollar purchases to 20 per cent from 35 per cent last month. The new rules were introduced soon after the Argentine peso suffered its steepest declined since the 2002 financial crisis down to eight pesos to the dollar after the country's central bank pulled support for the currency.

Argentina is losing foreign currency reserves at the fastest pace in more than a decade according to Bloomberg data- making support for the peso increasingly difficult and expensive.

Inflation is set to top 30 per cent this year as Argentines see their purchasing power decline as prices continue to increase. However, according to the Kirchner administration, inflation stood at 10.9 per cent in 2013. The International Monetary Fund censured Argentina's data as inaccurate. The country has two months left to release updated figures.

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

The Kirchner dynasty: key moments

2003 A lawyer by training, Nestor Kirchner is sworn in after a succession of presidents in the wake of the major financial crisis which hit Argentina in 2001.

2005 Kirchner declares the restructuring of the country’s debt a success, and a year later announces that Argentina had paid back multi-billion dollar debt to the International Monetary Fund.

2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner sworn in as president in December, succeeding her husband. They are criticised for working together to side-step presidential term limits.

2010 Nestor Kirchner dies from heart attack.

2011 Fernandez-Kirchner is re-elected in a landslide victory.

2013 Banned from running again in 2015, Fernandez-Kichner had hoped to win enough support in October’s mid-terms to allow the constitution to be changed to allow her a third term.

Ed Stocker

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before