City to increase supply of staple goods to keep prices stable

Ho Chi Minh City will continue to increase supply of eight staple goods, at prices at least 10 percent lower than market prices, until after the lunar New Year (Tet) next February.

Shoppers at HCMC's Ben Thanh Market during Tet 2008 (Photo: SGGP)

The statement was made by Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee, at a meeting with relevant departments and agencies, and 14 enterprises that have attended the city’s price stabilization program.

The price-stabilized goods include rice, sugar, cooking oil, red meat, poultry, poultry eggs, fruits and vegetables, and processed foods.

She said participating enterprises have to ensure sufficient supplies of the eight goods till after Tet, and keep their prices at least 10 percent lower than market rates.
According to the city’s Industry and Trade Department, these enterprises have prepared goods for Tet 2011, with quantities two to three times larger than the planned ones.
With this preparation, the essential goods, which account for 30-40 percent of the market demand during Tet, will be able to dominate the market.
The vice chairwoman asked the enterprises to boost development of distribution network.
According to statistics, supplies of goods have remained stable at wholesale markets.
Phan Dien, a planner of the Binh Dien wholesale market in District 8, said the market has received about 1,750 tons of commodities every day.
Prices of some commodities have gone up at the market. According to Mr. Dien, the price hike is not because of a goods shortage.
Retail markets have seen a hike in prices of many goods, with prices of vegetables increasing by VND4,000-5,000 per kilogram.
At the Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District, a kilogram of cucumber is currently sold at VND12,000-13,000, while a kilogram of carrot fetches VND15,000-27,000, and a kilogram of potato is VND24,000-27,000.
Dried seafood has risen by VND10,000-15,000 per kilogram at the Binh Tay Market in District 6.
With prices going up, shoppers have inclined to shop at supermarkets or wholesale markets where prices are 10 to 30 percent lower than at retail markets.
BigC supermarkets have offered a discount of 5-50 percent on 1,200 items, while Co.op Mart supermarkets have given a discount of 50 percent on 700 items.
At supermarkets, sugar has been sold at VND18,000-20,600 per kilogram, VND4,000-5,000 per kilogram lower than the market price.
Due to the low price, speculators have tried to buy sugar as much as possible at supermarkets.
Vice chairwoman Hong said the city’s Market Management Department has worked with supermarkets to catch speculators.
Sugar speculators will be punished strictly, she added.
Ms. Hong said sugar is one of eight goods whose prices will be stabilized all year round; therefore, there won’t be a shortage of sugar till the end of next March.

By T.Hai, T.Hong – Translated by Hoang Yen

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