Archive for January 27th, 2007

A picture is worth 10,000 words #24: Volume sales of food at Mercal

January 27, 2007

This one is somewhat of a puzzle. In two articles yesterday and today in El Universal, we are told that the Government’s chain of popular supermarkets Mercal has not imported any food for a month and a half. Moreover, the graph below taken from El Universal shows how since June sales of food (in thousands of Tons) have dropped significantly. 70% of the food sold at Mercal is imported, so either funds for Mercal have been reduced, people are buying less there due to either prices being less competitive or shortages at Mercal stores or management of Mercal has become more inefficient. (Currently Mercal has no sugar, black beans and milk). The article also says that the number of people who have been to Mercal to shop has dropped by 41.5%.

Curiously, the President of the Venezuelan Federation of Medical Doctors reported on Thursday that 45% of the Barrio Adentro modules are now closed.

Note: The data in El Universal only went to Nov. 21, so I simply assumed that sales during the last week in November were equal to one third of the sales of the first three weeks of November to plot the graph.