Paraguayans Take Advantage of Devalued Real and Go Shopping in Brazil

Devalued currency reverses flow at the Friendship Bridge in Foz do Iguaçu

São Paulo

At the same time that the number of Brazilian tourists fell, Nasser Hassan, a shoe store merchant in Foz do Iguaçu (PR), estimates that the movement of Paraguayan consumers in his establishment has increased by about 50%, for retail and wholesale, compared to last year.

The devaluation of the real, the uncertain recovery of the economy, and the blow to the tourism sector caused by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus have helped to change the behavior of consumers at the border with Paraguay. Neighbors are now taking advantage of the exchange rate.

FOZ DO IGUAÇU, PR, BRASIL: Devalued currency reverses flow at the Friendship Bridge in Foz do Iguaçu (Núcleo Especial de Polícia Marítima). (Foto: Bruno Santos/ Folhapress) - Bruno Santos/Folhapress

Merchant wholesalers in the region are also celebrating greater demand - especially for non-perishable food, sausages, eggs and dairy products— from the Brazilian side of the border, despite food inflation having been heavy during the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the year, the Paraguayan currency, the Guarani, has appreciated against the real. At the end of 2020, it was necessary to have 1,327 guaranis to exchange for R $ 1. Now, 1,200 are needed. In relation to the dollar, the Guarani has appreciated 5% since the beginning of the year, while the real has fallen about 4%.

From January to April, more than 40 thousand Paraguayans entered the country, according to the PF (Federal Police), especially in January, which concentrated half of the visits.

In every month, Paraguayan departures outnumbered entrances, which also indicates short trips, such as trips to shops and hospitals along the border. The PF did not report the number of Brazilians who went to Paraguay in the same period.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language