Tet market sees stable prices, purchasing power surging by 10-15 percent

According to businesses, unlike previous years, this year, consumers prepared for the Tet holidays quite early. On the day of the Kitchen God (the 23rd day of the last month in the lunar calendar), the purchasing power was extremely high. Many supermarkets and enterprises had achieved production plans and revenue of more than 70 percent right at the time.
Customers go shopping at Aeon Mall Binh Tan on February 16, 2021. (Photo: SGGP)
Customers go shopping at Aeon Mall Binh Tan on February 16, 2021. (Photo: SGGP)
In the last week before the Lunar New Year, the number of customers to supermarkets shopping for fresh foods, cattle meat, poultry meat, processed foods, sweetmeats, vegetables, and fruits for the Tet holidays continued to spike. At some supermarkets, such as MM Mega Market An Phu, Big C An Phu, and E Mart, the situation that customers had to wait in long lines for checkout continuously happened. By the morning of the last day in the lunar calendar, the footfall started to decrease gradually. Concurrently, the shelves of fresh meat, such as chicken, pork, and beef, were almost empty, because supermarkets stopped receiving new goods.

Thanks to careful preparation, high-quality branded goods, stable pricing policy, along with promotions and discounts on many items, supermarkets attracted a large number of customers. Earlier, supermarkets had offered a discount of 10-50 percent on thousands of items. Many supermarkets had also extended their opening hours by 4-5 hours per day during the Tet holidays to meet the shopping needs of consumers.

At the end of the peak business season, according to many enterprises and supermarkets, the purchasing power increased by 10-15 percent over the same period with the purchasing power of modern distribution networks, including supermarkets and convenience stores, increasing by 20-30 percent. Many enterprises said that amid such a difficult economic context, they were satisfied with these results. As for traditional markets, during the days before Tet, the number of customers shopping at markets was quite high, prompting the purchasing power to climb 30-40 percent compared to normal days.

In general, the prices of goods during the Tet holidays in Ho Chi Minh City were fairly stable. Especially, in the group of essential food items, such as cattle meat, poultry meat and poultry eggs, and processed foods, the selling prices tended to decrease slightly, due to the influence caused by goods in the market stabilization program, as well as abundant supply. For pork, during the peak period before Tet, the prices of pork cuts and live pigs were steady, but the price of pork at wholesale and retail markets inched up slightly by VND1,000-VND5,000 per kilogram. The supply of pork to the market was plentiful and diverse instead of being short as some previous forecasts.

Fresh flowers were almost sold out

In the group of fresh flowers, the selling prices were relatively stable and only a little bit higher than normal days. Even for some types of flowers like lily, the selling price was only VND250,000 per dozen, merely half of that in the previous year; that of gladiolus was VND120,000 per dozen. The prices of flowers brought from Da Lat City, such as moth orchids, chrysanthemums cuttings, and lilies, were stable, with supply meeting demand.

However, because the purchasing power of flowers remained slow during the days near Tet, the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC coordinated with news agencies, radio, and TV stations to simultaneously call on the people's support to increase the purchase of Tet flowers, contributing to sharing the difficulties with flower trading households and flower farmers. Some specialized flower trading areas, namely Binh Dien and Thu Duc wholesale markets, and Dam Sen fresh flower market had reportedly consumed 100 percent of the flower supply.

Other markets, such as the Gia Dinh Park flower market, consumed 90 percent. By the afternoon of the Lunar New Year’s Eve, many flower shops specializing in moth orchids in Hoang Van Thu and Pham Van Dong streets, saw high footfall, but beautiful pots of moth orchids were all sold out. The owner of a flower shop said that the purchasing power of flowers was very good, and the selling price of moth orchids was equal to that last year at VND200,000-VND250,000 per plant.

As for the typical Tet flowers of the North and the South – peach blossom and Mai flower (Ochna integerrima), due to unfavorable weather and heavy rain during the days near Tet, many pots of Ochna integerrima blossom bloomed earlier than expected, leading to slow purchasing power. Meanwhile, peach blossoms were very attractive to customers because flower shops did not overcharge while peach flowers bloomed beautifully. As a result, by the afternoon of the 29th day of the last month in the lunar calendar, this item was already sold out.

In the fruit group, Hoa Loc mango, mandarin orange, honey mandarin, and custard apple, the selling prices were the same as last year. However, the prices of dragon fruit and pomelo of all kinds decreased to only half of those in last year. For instance, green-skinned pomelo was priced at VND45,000-VND50,000 per kilogram, and dragon fruit VND25,000-VND30,000 per kilogram.

From the second day to the fifth day of the first month in the lunar calendar, it was recorded that the selling prices of many kinds of goods at supermarkets at the beginning of the year did not increase over the same period and were equivalent to the normal selling prices. Specifically, at some supermarkets and food stores, the prices of all kinds of beef fluctuated from VND250,000 to VND300,000 per kilogram, chicken meat from VND120,000 to VND140,000 per kilogram, and all kinds of fish from VND30,000 to VND120,000 per kilogram. Products in the market stabilization program still offered better prices than the market. On the opening day in the new year, supermarkets also launched many promotional programs, in which, fresh food products saw an average decrease of 10-20 percent, and non-food goods decreased by 5-49 percent.

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