Cost of living
- From: Sandy Cruden <sandycruden@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2007 04:44:43 -0700
Commerce puts lid on some prices Palm oil, pork allowed to increase
Manufacturers of consumer goods, including foods and beverages,
yesterday generally agreed to maintain their retail prices until early
next year, to alleviate the burden on consumers.
Published on October 27, 2007
Yangyong Phuangrach, director-general of the Commerce Ministry's
Internal Trade Depart-ment, said manufacturers were facing higher
production costs, mainly from uncontrolled imported raw materials and
freight charges. As a result, manufacturing costs are forecast to
increase through early next year.
Despite yesterday's agreement, the ministry will allow the retail
price of palm oil to increase, as the industry is facing steeply
higher costs of raw material. Fresh palm has increased from Bt2 a
kilogram to Bt5, driving the cost of crude palm oil up Bt10 a kilogram
from the current price of Bt29. The current ceiling retail price of
palm oil is Bt38 a kilogram.
After a three-hour meeting with representatives from the private
sector, Yangyong said the ministry wanted to ensure consumers were
protected amid the rising cost of living.
"The ministry does not like to block retail prices, but sometimes it
has to when consumers have low purchasing power," he said.
However, the ministry will consider letting food and other consumer-
product manufacturers increase their retail prices next year. The plan
is to ensure a balanced demand and supply of goods in the market and
help manufacturers survive. But manufacturers should gradually
increase their prices rather than do so in one big jump, Yangyong
Other products that face increasing production costs of raw materials
are soybeans, powdered milk and wheat flour - which is a major
ingredient in instant noodles - and bread.
Pun Paniangvait, a senior executive at Thai President Foods,
manufacturer of Mama instant noodles, said his company would attempt
to freeze its retail prices until the end of the year despite facing
higher production costs, particularly for wheat flour, the price of
which has doubled over the past year.
"Although the board had agreed to increase retail prices Bt1 a pack
for all kinds of products on December 1, we'll try to freeze the
retail price until the end of the year," he said.
Thai President Foods said it stood to make no profit this month for
the first time and expects a loss next month because of production
costs. Thus, the firm wants to increase retail prices in December.
Pun said the company would submit a letter to the Internal Trade
Department next week seeking approval for the price increase.
Meanwhile, the department yesterday approved a request by the Swine
Raisers' Association to increase the pig price at the farm door Bt3 a
kilogram nationwide, from Bt41 to Bt44.
Yangyong said approval was granted because of farmers' higher
production costs. However, the department has asked the association to
try to control the retail price.
The department accepted that the number of small pig farmers had been
reduced 30 per cent to 110,000 countrywide. If that number continues
to decline, it will affect pork supply in the market, he said.
1 baht here, 3 baht there, not large sums by Farang standards, but
once again the ordinary worker in LoS is under pressure trying take
care of his/her family. 30+ baht a litre petrol is also putting
pressure on household budgets. From the above article it looks as if
consumers will face more increases early in the new year.
Looks like the recent increase in the minimum wage didn't go far, a 3
baht per day increase saw it skyrocket in Bangkok from 191 baht to 194
baht a day.
Some people are doing ok though, like the guy driving a brand new (red
plate) black, Porsche Cayman S that I saw in Huay Khwaang market this
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