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Thursday, January 26, 2023

The cost of basic goods in Yucatán continues to soar

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Low wages in Yucatán combined with price increases mean that many working families can’t afford even basic goods. Photo: Courtesy

The cost of basic goods continues to rise across Yucatán.

Mexico’s social development council warns that price hikes in Yucatán are likely to surpass 37.5% by the end of the year. 

By law, basic goods included in Mexico’s “canasta básica” program must remain affordable to all Mexicans earning the minimum wage. They are considered essential.

The minimum wage in Mexico stands at 141.70 pesos per day, or roughly 7 USD.

Products included in this category include 40 items such as corn, beans, rice, sugar, vegetable oil, wheat, some meats, tortillas, and toilet paper. 

Inflation, a weakening peso, and a reliance on imports have meant that several “canasta básica” products have become unaffordable for much of Mexico’s population. 

Some goods such as corn tortillas are subject to strict regulations, which keep prices low through government subsidies. But even these have risen sharply.  

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Mexico’s consumer protection agency, Profeco, says that it has been carrying out inspections across Yucatán to ensure that the price of these goods remains in line.

Some of the goods that have risen the most in price since the beginning of the year include eggs, avocado, lemon, and fish — the cost of which has risen by nearly 100%.

Energy costs have also risen sharply in 2021. In Yucatán, the price of gasoline has risen over 10%, and the cost of electricity is set to increase by 3% for the second time this year. 

“I don’t know what the CFE expects us to do. It is very sad, but these constant increases are making it impossible for us to keep our businesses open… they will be the end of us,” said Jorge Careña Lincoln, president of Mérida’s local small business council. 

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