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Rushing to buy milk in anticipation of price hikes   2009-02-19 - VietNamnet/VNE

Housewives are rushing to milk shops these days as they want to purchase dairy products before prices are raised.


Milk retail sales agents have also been warned by other dairy producers about price increases in the time to come, though no official decisions have been released.


Currently, a 900gr carton of Similac Gain IQ is selling for VND289,000, 1.8kg Grow Vanilla VND316,500, 1kg Grow Advance IQ VND252,500, while 700gr Similac Mom VND207,000.


“For every carton of milk with the average price of VND200-300,000, consumers will have to pay some ten VND more due to the price increases,” said the owner of a milk shop on Nguyen Thong street in district 3.


Hearing the news about the milk price increases, housewives have rushed to purchase milk to hoard up before prices increase.


At the Nguyen Thong milk market in HCM City, the number of buyers has increased by 30-40% in the last few days. Sales of the dairy products which consumers think will increase in price have increased by 1.5 times, according to Nhan, the owner of a milk shop in Phu Nhuan district.


Also according to Nhan, some clients have shifted to purchase products whose producers are offering attractive promotion programmes.


Enfa product of Mead Johnson has become the choice of many housewives as the producer has launched a promotion programme under which clients who purchase one 900gr carton of milk for VND290,000 receive a 200gr carton of the same kind, and those who purchase a 1kg carton will get two 200 gr cartons free.


Thanh Mai, a mother of two children, six years old and five months old, related that she has purchased one case of milk cans for the two children, helping her save several hundred thousand VND.


“Big milk producers always announce price increases. I have never heard of price decreases, despite material price decreases and tax reductions,” Mai said.


Sales agents say that the distributors for Mead Johnson, Nestle, Dumex, and Dutch Lady, have not made any announcements about price adjustments. However, this has been worrying the sale agents, as many suppliers do not have the habit of announcing price increase plans in advance.


The import tax increase recently proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been cited by milk shops as the reason for the forewarnings of price increases.


The ministry on February 9 sent a document to the government, proposing the increase of the import tax on dairy products in order to help the milk cow farming industry and settle difficulties in the post-melamine period.


However, most recently, the Ministry of Finance, in an interview given to a local newspaper, said that a tax increase would not be considered at this moment as commodity prices are already at high levels.

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