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Pricier petrol leads to pricier purchases
29 | 11 | 2007
The prices of many products and services are predicted to increase, in some cases over 10 per cent, following recent rises in petrol prices, according to Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry and Trade analysts.

The ministries agreed last week to allow petrol prices to climb from VND11,300 to VND13,000, as oil prices on the world market have shot to record heights, nearing $100 per barrel.

In Viet Nam, offshore fishing and heavy industry were likely to feel the strongest impact. The price of seafood was expected to increase by an average of 10.82 per cent.

The prices of coal, steel and cement, meanwhile, were expected to rise between 1.7 and 5.6 per cent due to a heavy dependence on transportation costs.

"The cost to produce steel will increase by VND95,000 per tonne with the price of petrol at this level," said Nguyen Tien Nghi, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Steel Association.

Nghi estimated that the steel industry would produce 400,000 tonnes through the end of the year, with production cost increasing accordingly by VND40 billion (US$2.5 million).

"A price increase is unavoidable. The price of steel will increase by about VND100,000 per tonne in December," Nghi said.

Taxi and other transportation companies are also under strong pressure, with petrol costs accounting for 50 per cent of their rates.

"It will be difficult for us to maintain the current rates. Right after the petrol price increase, we had a meeting and all members proposed to increase rates by at least 10 per cent," said Nguyen Manh Hung, chairman of the Viet Nam Motor and Automobile Association.

Supermarkets nationwide, including Maximark, Co.op Mart and Citimart, said that they were receiving five to 10 notices per day from distributors intending to increase prices.

And the price fever has already struck small markets, with food prices feeling the heat.

"Today, I couldn’t buy meat. Two meat shops in my market have closed due to the high costs," said a 75-year-old woman who lives on Lo Duc Street in Ha Noi.

The price of vegetables at some wholesale markets in HCM City was up VND500-1,000/kg.

The petrol price hike comes when inflationary pressures were already expected to build with the approaching season of the Tet (lunar new year) festival. To reduce the affect of high petrol prices on other consumer goods, the Ministry of Finance has sent an urgent dispatch to sectors and provinces ordering measures to avoid illegal price increases.

Source: vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn
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