Mekong produce prices rise on high demand

The cost of produce in Mekong Delta provinces has spiked as demand increases ahead of the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays in February.

Seedless longan is now selling for VND8,500-9,000 a kilo in Dong Thap and Vinh Long provinces. Dried longan prices rose by VND500-1,000 a kilo over last week to VND7,000-8,000 a kilo, a three-month high.

In Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces, the price of durian has also increased with yellow-pulp and flat-seed varieties costing VND26,000-28,000 a kilo, and green-skinned durian costing VND10,000-13,000.

At wholesale markets, Nam Roi pomelo, a popular variety cultivated in the Mekong Delta region, is selling at VND6,000-9,000 a kilo, up to three times higher than prices in the last quarter of 2009.

Meanwhile, farmers are selling green-skinned pomelo at VND20,000-30,000 a kilo.

Traders said fruit prices have climbed due to strong demand in Ho Chi Minh City, the south-eastern region, and especially in the north, while other popular are out of season.

Prices are expected to climb even higher closer to Tet, which this year falls on February 14.

Other Mekong products, including rice, catfish, and Tra fish, have also seen price hikes. Paddy is now sold at VND5,300 a kilo; VND1,900 a kilo higher year on year. Tra fish, meanwhile, now sell for VND15,400 a kilo; an increase of VND1,400 a kilo year on year.

Sugar cane and shrimp, meanwhile, are also selling for more than normal with prices expected to increase further over the next few days.

Mekong Delta provinces have increased reserves of traditional Tet goods, worth an average of VND200-500 billion per province, as it is forecast that consumption during this Tet will be much higher than previous years.

Can Tho City’s reserves topped more than VND930 billion, of which food reserves accounted for more than VND265 billion.

The city has also offered low-interest loans to businesses to stockpile goods for Tet.

By Staff writers – Translated by Thuy Doan

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