False Rumors Push up Rice Prices

Yesterday, many city dwellers flocked to stores to buy rice for storage as the rice price unexpectedly climbed by VND5,000 per kilo. Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong, Deputy Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, reassured that the hike in rice prices was triggered by false rumors and she subsequently guaranteed a stable supply of rice for the city’s people in the upcoming future.

Many consumers flock to a rice agent in District 10 to buy rice

Ms. Hong blamed the sudden hike in rice prices on the false rumor that the city will face a shortage of rice in the near future. This rumor was sparked by the fact that recently Viet Nam won a contract to supply 1,200 tons of rice to the Philippines in 2008; hence the rice from the Mekong Delta will now be exported to the Philippines instead of supplying the city.

Another reason for the hike, is the information that has been internationally broadcast recently that the world rice price is on the increase. With this information some rice stores took advantage and raised their prices using their own initiative, Ms. Hong explained. Some rice agents even stopped distributing rice for their own storage purposes, leading to the scarcity of rice on the market.

Ms. Hong assured that the rice supply for the city is still stable and directed the relevant authorities at both district and ward levels to carry out immediate checks with rice agents and stores. Any business found to be increasing prices, storing rice for unwarranted circumstances or speculating rice to manipulate the market will be charged and subjected to strict disciplinary measures.

By Han Ni- Translated by Phuong Lan

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