LatinNews Daily - 2 November 2023

In brief: Argentina’s government freezes fuel taxes

* Argentina’s government has delayed a planned tax increase on unleaded gasoline and diesel until 1 February 2024, explaining in a statement that this tax freeze was “to ensure the necessary stabilisation and adequate price evolution”. Following recent fuel shortages and Economy Minister Sergio Massa’s threat to halt fuel exports unless oil producers resolve the supply issues, the state news agency Telam cited Massa as saying that the fuel supply has now been guaranteed and that “the critical situation has been overcome”. However, Massa warned that “we cannot let [the oil producers], in order to raise their export profits a little more, harm Argentine consumers”. Massa said that oil companies have asked for fuel price increases which he said are “much higher” than what the oil sector needs. Massa, who is the presidential candidate for the ruling Peronist Unión por la Patria (UP) coalition, also indirectly criticised the economic proposals of his opponent in the second-round runoff vote on 19 November, the far-right populist Javier Milei. Massa suggested that Mieli’s plans to “liberalise” prices could cause fuel prices to rise to Ar$800 (US$2.29) per litre.

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