Ministry to adjust cost of pork amid escalating market price

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Ministry of Industry and Commerce will set a new official price for pork sold throughout the country after vendors have been unable to sell the popular meat at the set government price of 36,000 kip per kg.

A butcher in Vientiane’s Khuadin market, Ms Mack, said “I sell Grade A pork for 43,000 to 45,000 kip per kg because the price charged by middlemen has increased. This means I cannot sell pork at the price designated by government.”

The authorities are monitoring the price of pork after it rose above the government’s set price, affecting the large number of people who rely on this meat as a daily staple.

“Since hearing complaints from both consumers and vendors about the price, our department and Vientiane authorities are discussing setting a new price to bring it in line with market mechanisms,” said an official from the Domestic Trade Department, Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

“The new price of pork will not be too high for consumers. We expect to announce the price to the general public and related sectors this week,” he added.

“Of course, after the new price is announced, vendors who sell pork above this price will be fined or otherwise penalised in line with the law.”

“Over the past few months lots of pig died from a viral infection. This caused a shortage of pigs which is one reason for the sharp increase in the market price of pork,” he said.

The price of pork has also risen in Thailand, Vietnam and China. Some traders may try to sell pigs to these markets so they get a better price.

Another reason for the high market price of pork is that the value of the kip is weak, which is driving up the price of most consumer goods, observers say.

In addition, the cost of fuel is rising in line with global market trends.

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