The year’s biggest petrol price hike of nearly VND1,000 (4.5 cents) has coupled with unfavourable weather conditions, have triggered worries of price hikes of transportation and goods ahead of the Lunar New Year celebration (TET).
The traditional holiday will fall on the last end-week of January and shopping demand is already on the rise by around 10 % compared to other months.
Preparations have been made to meet the rising demand for goods and services, stabilise prices and prevent price increases. Still, experts forecast that prices, especially of essential goods, will rise starting next week.
According to Vu Vinh Phu, President of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, petrol price hikes would definitely affect other prices, but it would normally take around 15 days to see the impact.
Phú forecast that prices of goods and services would be pushed up by around 5-7 %. However, just a modest part of the increases was caused by petrol price hikes.
In local markets, products such as meat, fruits and vegetables have already registered price increases of 10 to 50 %.
A trader at Binh Dien wholesale market in HCM City said that there was a scarcity of vegetables and fruits due to unfavourable weather conditions in the central region and Da Lat.
According to Nguyen Van Thanh, president of Vietnam Automobile Transport Association, although petrol prices were hiked, transport costs are not adjusted immediately as firms need to calculate the impact. “However, the pressure is there,” Thanh added.
The HCM City Market Watch said petrol price hikes would definitely affect the price of many goods and services. However, prices of essential goods will be kept stable.
Major cities such as Hanoi and HCM City were gearing up for the TET holiday.
In HCM City, firms prepared a total of VND17 trillion (US$759 million) of goods, 20 % higher than the city authority’s plan.
In Hanoi, VND23.5 trillion of goods were prepared, rising by 10 % over the previous year.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade also asked retailers nationwide to ensure adequate goods for the holiday.VNS