Tet market: purchasing power surges, prices steady

In the past three days, the number of people in Ho Chi Minh City who rushed to markets for shopping rose by 30-50 percent while purchasing power at supermarkets was 3-4 times higher than usual. Goods for Tet holidays were plentiful and diverse while the prices of most commodities remained stable.
Many supermarkets have been running promotional program to boost demand.
On February 2 (December 28 in lunar calendar), the amount of goods coming to the city strongly rose. At wholesale markets, including Thu Duc, Binh Dien and Hoc Mon, the amount of goods nearly touched 15,000 tons per night, up 60 percent compared to normal days. Thu Duc Market is currently trading around 150 types of vegetables and fruits supplied from various provinces and cities across the country as well as imported ones from the US, Australia, Chile, China, New Zealand and India. Inspection and supervision for quality of goods and food safety as well as fire protection have been carrying extremely well.
At food producers like Vissan, San Ha, Ba Huan and Vinh Thanh Dat, the amount of goods sent to market surged an average of 100-200 percent. Distributors also closely collaborate with suppliers to best meet shopping demand of the city’s residents. General purchasing power rocketed sharply by 70-80 percent compared to normal days. Since December 27 of the lunar calendar, distributors have extended opening hours by 1-3 hours per day to ease pressure for their counters.
The spirit of Tet holidays has already been in the air at traditional markets with plentiful and eye-catching goods being displayed everywhere. Pickled foods like scallions, shallots, pig ears and dried foods like dried bamboo shoots, glass noodles and glutinous rice have seen good sales. Meanwhile, items for the wrapping of Banh Chung and Banh Tet, including banana leaves, bamboo strings and Phrynium placentarium leaves were sold at Pham Van Hai, Van Thanh and Ba Hoa markets.
The prices of several commodities were still stable. Especially, the prices of ten groups of goods in the price stabilization program, including rice, pork, beef, poultry meat, poultry eggs, processed foods, cooking oil, sugar, vegetables and fruits, seafood, and spices, have been fixed for two months prior and after Tet thus there was no changes. Goods supply was plentiful and diverse.
Meanwhile the prices of fresh cut fruits and flowers, including pomelos, custard-apples, mangoes, dragon fruits, watermelons, mandarins, lilies, roses, tuberoses and gladioli moderately soared due to strong buying demand.
Particularly, the prices of green-skinned pomelos and Hoa Loc mangoes were at VND90,000-VND110,000 per kilogram; custard-apples at VND80,000-VND90,000 per kilogram, lilies at VND50,000-VND70,000 per stem; and tuberoses at VND100,000-VND120,000 a dozen.
Similarly, the prices of fresh foods such as domestic chicken, snake-head fish, mackerel and boneless pork ribs also slightly inched up. The price of chicken rose by VND30,000-VND40,000 per kilogram to VND150,000-VND170,000 per kilogram while boneless pork ribs emerged VND10,000-VND20,000 per kilogram.
The prices of vegetables tended to drop VND1,000-VND12,000 per kilogram because of high supply at wholesale markets. However, at retail markets, the prices slightly edged up due to rising transport and labor costs.
The prices of fresh foods that are not in the price stabilization program are prone to go up slightly due to sudden increase in buying demand during Tet holidays. The Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC has ordered management boards of wholesale markets and distribution networks to cooperate with traders and farmers to enhance measures to closely keep track of market movements, quickly update supply and demand and price status. If there is any unusual change, they have to immediately inform authorities in order for relevant departments to timely deal with the situation. Management boards of markets continue to inspect and supervise the origin and quality of goods and ensure food safety.
Information from wholesale markets in the city showed that total amount of goods flocked to Binh Dien, Hoc Mon and Thu Duc markets by December 28 of the lunar calendar reached 14,046 tons per night, up 70 percent compared to normal days. Of which, Thu Duc Market received 5,900 tons per night, up 61.4 percent; Binh Dien Market got more than 5,000 tons per night, up 88 percent; and Hoc Mon Market saw 3,145 tons per night, up 56.4 percent.

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