More than 40,000 tonnes of merchandise especially for the Lunar New Year of 2023 (Quy Mao Tet holiday) is on the way to serve the needs of Ho Chi Minh City dwellers. Enterprises participating in the price stabilization scheme are going to supply 25-43 percent of the market demands. The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade estimates that the purchasing power at this upcoming Tet holiday will be much higher than the one of the previous year.
Retail prices of oil and petrol dropped from 3 pm on October 3 following the latest adjustment by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance. The retail price of petrol is about VN22,000 a liter. However, the prices of many goods in Ho Chi Minh City have only decreased slightly, and even some items have increased.
The prices of some consumer goods and fresh food for sale at small and spontaneous points of sale in Ho Chi Minh City have started to hike in the past few days. Sellers explained that freight costs started to climb, so the increase in selling price was inevitable. Meanwhile, large supermarkets and trade centers confirmed that they still run many promotions and offer deep discounts to support consumers.
The prices of many items, such as fruits, vegetables, cooking oil, and fresh milk, at retail points of sale and markets on March 21 increased by 15-40 percent compared to before the 2022 Lunar New Year. Delivery service also added a surcharge of VND5,000-VND15,000 per order. Meanwhile, at supermarkets and wholesale markets, prices of commodities remained stable.
Up to now, although the volume of goods arrived at the three wholesale markets of Hoc Mon, Thu Duc, and Binh Dien has been increasing sharply, the purchasing power remains modest, decreasing by 30 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent, respectively, because spontaneous markets on the roads around these wholesale markets have taken market share.
From the beginning of January to now, the wholesale markets of Hoc Mon, Thu Duc, Binh Dien have received 2,600 tons, 1,600 tons, and 1,500 tons of goods per day, respectively. Thereby, prices of food and fresh goods have declined by about 20 percent.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities have urged businesses to ensure supply of essential goods and necessities and offer promotion programs for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday while following pandemic prevention measures.
Although the supply of goods has been increasing, strangely, traders have to move out of the market to be able to sell their goods. The reason is that more and more spontaneous markets mushroom around the market areas and buyers are reluctant to go inside the market because of strict Covid-19 prevention and control regulations.
According to the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City, 103 out of 234 traditional markets have resumed operations in the city by October 22. Localities that have not reopened markets yet include District 7, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, and Nha Be districts. It is expected that districts in HCMC will reopen 19 more markets from now until October 25.
Despite hesitance, many wholesale markets, as well as traditional markets in Ho Chi Minh City, have begun to increase the volume of goods and open their doors to welcome customers. However, many small traders in wholesale and traditional markets said that they were still worried that spontaneous markets would surround and vie them for goods and customers.
After the Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper (SGGP Newspaper) published the article "Wholesale markets face risk of closure again" on September 24, Hoc Mon District authorities urgently checked and handled traders who illegally sold goods on the streets around the Hoc Mon Wholesale Market and nearby roads, such as the National Highway 22 and Nguyen Thi Soc Street.
HCMC saw 3,260 recovered Covid-19 patients and 140 deaths on September 23. The number of Covid-related deaths was the lowest in over the past one month, said Deputy Head of the HCMC Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control Pham Duc Hai.
When wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City were allowed to open transshipment points, it was expected to contribute to solving the shortage of essential goods in the context that the city implements social distancing. However, the result is not as expected.
The Hanoi Department of Health of Hanoi City, on August 2, informed that as many Covid-19 cases were continuously recorded in the community, the authorities blocked and temporarily closed some large markets in the city.