Thai Food Price Controls Cut Cost of Living30 September 2013
THAILAND - The Thai Commerce Ministry and food retailers have reached an agreement to help control prices for the rest of the year.
Three giant modern-trade operators - Tesco Lotus, Big C Supercentre and Makro - have agreed with the Commerce Ministry to freeze or reduce the prices of more than 2,000 consumer goods and foods until the end of the year, as part of efforts to rein in the rising cost of living.
The Nation of Thailand reports that the three retailers met with Deputy Commerce Minister, Yanyong Phuangrach, last week and promised to set up special promotional plans for essential products, so that consumers do not have to shoulder higher living costs.
Minister Yanyong said goods prices should not increase for the remainder of the year as a result of the campaigns being launched.
The modern traders have agreed to either freeze their prices, or to discount them by 10 to 50 per cent.
To ensure living costs do not rise further, the ministry has also obtained the cooperation of 5,955 food retailers and street-food traders that they will sell their wares at 25- to 30Bt (THB) per menu, he said.
Salinla Seehaphan, corporate affairs director of Tesco Lotus's Ek-Chai Distribution System, said Tesco had agreed to draw up a cheap-price promotion for the remainder of the year at its more than 1,500 outlets nationwide.
The promotion will focus on fresh vegetables and fruits, which will help farmers as well as reduce people's spending costs for the upcoming vegetarian festival.
Kudatara Nagaviroj, director of corporate affairs at Big C Supercentre, said the company would lower the price of its cooked food from THB29 per menu to THB22.
Siriporn Dechsingha, associate commercial director of Siam Makro, said the company would focus its cheap-price campaign on ingredients in order to reduce the production costs of food retailers and restaurants.
The main focus will be on rice, cooking oil, sugar, eggs and pork.
Makro will also maintain the prices of its house-brand products, and is scheduled to run a low-price campaign from 13 to 26 November, said Siriporn.
Meanwhile, a survey by The Nation found that the price of street food had increased in many areas, including Bangkok and nearby provinces.
For instance, the price of a dish of pork-ball noodles in Nonthaburi recently rose by THB5, with a street vendor saying that a price hike |was necessary following the higher cost of cooking gas and raw materials.
The Nation's report added that the price of fish noodles in the Ram-Indra area has also increased by THB5 per dish, while the price of cooked foods (khao khang) on Silom Road early this month shot up by THB5 to THB10 per menu to THB40 to THB60.
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