Food supplies return to normal at supermarkets and mercados but gas shortage continues
More than a week after the end of national protests food availability has returned to normal in Cuenca’s mercados and supermarkets although some items continue to carry higher prices.
The news is not as good for the availability of LP gas and some local distributors say they are still unable to make home deliveries.
On Saturday, city inspectors said that they had seen no cases of price gouging for food as of late last week and that supplies have returned to normal. Inspectors say there are still some goods delivered during the strike that carry higher-than-normal prices due to extra delivery charges. The inspector’s office says it has checked all nine city mercados as well as more than a dozen area supermarkets.
Inspectors said they have received at least a dozen complaints about stores and markets attempting to sell out-dated produce and meat. “Apparently, there were some food items that had gone bad during the strike that were put on shelves and we have asked vendors to check their stocks and eliminate this,” the inspector’s office said in a press announcement.
Meanwhile, most LP gas delivery companies say they may not been able to resume home deliveries until later this week. Last week, AustroGas, which serves the Cuenca area, predicted that deliveries would return to normal within a matter days.
Austrogas manager Gerardo Maldonado says he was overly optimistic about a return to normal delivery schedules. “We had a backlog of 100,000 cylinders from the strike and we have only been able to refill 14,000 cylinders a day,” he said. “We have almost caught up to demand but it may require a few more days.”
He added that more than half the delivery services contracted by AustroGas are making home deliveries again.