Commerce Ministry pondering price rises for 4 products

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Bangkok, 21 March (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry is considering allowing prices of four products to float once the price pegging measure expires at the end of this month due to their higher production costs.

After entrepreneurs requested price adjustments for soybean oil, pasteurized milk, chemical fertilizers and steel, Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had instructed her ministry to make certain that any new prices correspond to the actual production costs. Relevant subcommittees are now studying the price structures of the products in order to decide whether such increases would be appropriate.

Ms Pornthiva, however, indicated a high tendency for price hikes to be imposed on the four products in line with the more expensive raw materials after the expiration of the price pegging policy on March 31. However, in a bid to prevent significant impacts from the price increases on agriculturalists and consumers, the Minister pointed out that a joint effort among related ministries and organizations would be necessary.

As for sugar, currently sold at 23.50 THB per kilogram, Ms Pornthiva noted that the collection of 5 THB a kilo towards the Cane and Sugar Fund would come to an end in April or May and would thus allow the retail sugar price to lower by at least 5 THB a kilo.