Many products start to increase prices

Since the Tet holiday, the prices of some products in Ho Chi Minh City have started to increase, especially after gasoline prices exceeded VND25,000 per liter.
Many products start to increase prices ảnh 1 Customers buy vegetables at a supermarket in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

Construction material prices soar

Right after gasoline prices climbed, steel enterprises have sent notifications about adjusting their selling prices to customers with a fairly high increase. Specifically, major steel brands, such as Hoa Phat, VNSteel, and Viet My, increased coil steel price by VND410 per kg to VND17,210 per kg, and ribbed steel by VND360 per kg to VND17,460 per kg. After this adjustment, the construction steel prices of many brands are now near the peak of about VND18,000 per kg in 2021.

“The reason for the price adjustment given by steel manufacturers is the increase in the price of steel billets and input materials. However, I see that every time gasoline price rises, they will immediately raise their selling prices," said Ms. Nguyen Thi Van, a construction steel agent in Binh Tan District.

Similarly, a representative of the Vietnam Cement Association confirmed that many cement enterprises had to increase their selling prices to ensure production and business efficiency.

According to construction contractors, the high volatility of construction material prices causes many risks, so they will review signed bidding packages, especially the package contract, as well as the fixed unit prices.

“In 2021, with the steel price increasing by nearly 50 percent, many other materials also climbed by 20 percent, causing us a heavy loss. Amid the current situation, we have not signed package contracts yet but are negotiating with investors to share the risk in proportion to the price fluctuations of materials before accepting the projects," said Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of Hoang Long Production Trading Service Construction Company in District 12.

Consumer goods remain stable

As for food products, although the current purchasing power is fairly weak, the situation of overcharging also happens in some traditional markets or spontaneous points of sale. Specifically, the prices of fruits, pork, and fish hiked by VND10,000-VND30,000 per kg, depending on the type, in the days near the first full moon in the lunar calendar. Meanwhile, on February 17, all three wholesale markets, namely Hoc Mon, Binh Dien, and Thu Duc, confirmed that the supply of goods was abundant, and there was no price increase.

Many products start to increase prices ảnh 2 Consumers buy goods at a supermarket in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)
The representative of Binh Dien Wholesale Market alone confirmed that only fish price slightly edged up by VND1,000-VND2,000 per kg, compared to the peak of the Tet holiday. The reason is that farmers harvested fish to consume before the Lunar New Year, so the main crop has not come yet, leading to a limited volume of fish in the market. It was recorded that at the system of trade centers and supermarkets, such as Emart, Aeon, Co.opmart, and Satra, the selling prices of most products remain stable. There are even many big promotions to stimulate demand due to low purchasing power. A representative of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade confirmed no shortage of essential goods because manufacturers had prepared goods to sufficiently supply the market before, during, and after Tet one month. The key to ensuring supply and stabilizing prices is the system of wholesale and traditional markets, market-stabilizing businesses, and supermarkets.

The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade said that the total retail sales of consumer goods and services in the first quarter was estimated at above VND73.51 trillion, up 5.1 percent over the previous month. Two sectors heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic- retail and travel - also recouped quite well, with retail goods gaining 7.1 percent and tourism rallying 8 percent.