The makers of 5 brands of instant noodles have submitted a request to raise the retail price of a packet of instant noodles by 2 baht. The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has accepted the matter for consideration but has yet to approve the raise. If the raise is approved, the price of a standard packet of instant noodles will increase to 8 baht from 6 baht at present.
Pun Paniangvait, manager of the president’s office, Thai President Foods, represented the 5 manufacturers in submitting the request to the DIT. Thai President Foods is the maker of the Mama brand of instant noodles. The 4 other manufacturers sell instant noodles under the Sue Sat, Wai Wai, Yam Yam, and Nissin brands.
Mr. Pun said the manufacturers have been requesting a price increase since last year and engaged in more than 20 discussions with the relevant authorities. They have yet to receive approval to raise the price. He said instant noodle firms have had to shoulder very high production costs, especially the costs of palm oil and wheat. Mr. Pun said the makers deem a 2-baht raise to be appropriate for current costs.
According to him, the five companies’ production volume of instant noodles for the domestic market will not be changed for now. This would be the case even if a price raise is not approved. However, he said the manufacturers might reorient their production ratio toward exports in the future, from 30% at present. He added that to reduce the burdens on their businesses, the instant noodle makers might opt to prioritize export orders in the future.
DIT Director-General Wattanasak Sur-iam said approval has not yet been given for the instant noodles price raise request. He explained that prices of everyday commodities need to be carefully assessed. According to him, the DIT has constantly followed up on the costs incurred by makers of instant noodles. He added that price adjustment approvals are based on a principle calling for minimal impacts on the public, fair pricing, and survivability of manufacturers. (NNT)