Ministry tracking vegetable, consumer product prices

Ministry tracking vegetable, consumer product prices

Fresh vegetables for sale at a fresh market.
Fresh vegetables for sale at a fresh market.

The Commerce Ministry is keeping a close eye on rising prices of vegetables and other consumer products, the costs of which have been driven up by floods and higher oil and raw material prices.

The ministry is calling for cooperation from manufacturers to help keep their products' prices stable, and will provide 50 mobile units selling low-priced products in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from tomorrow.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said he has assigned the Internal Trade Department to closely follow up on the impact of floods which have hit several provinces in the country, resulting in more expensive vegetables because of lower supplies.

The government's recent relaxation of lockdown measures is also expected to lead people to increase their spending and push up demand for more vegetables and other products, he said.

Wattanasak Sur-iam, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said a rise in vegetable prices is expected to be short-lived and will soon return to normal.

He said rainfall has started to decrease while the weather has begun to cool down.

According to Mr Wattanasak, his department has been closely monitoring the price movements of essential and agricultural products due to floods and rising energy prices.

Products watched by the department include consumer products for daily use, cleaning and washing products, construction materials, and food and agricultural products such as rice, eggs, pork and fruit.

His department also pledged to continue providing mobile grocery schemes, selling to communities essential items such as cleaning and washing products, kitchenware, and other products used daily, to help reduce the cost of living.

During the third wave of the pandemic, the department dispatched 1,000 mobile grocery stores nationwide to reduce people's living costs.

According to Mr Wattanasak, the department is also ready to link with central markets and wholesale and retail markets in each region to help distribute farmers' agricultural products, particularly rice, eggs and vegetables.

The department is also teaming up with gas stations in Greater Bangkok such as PTT, PTG Energy Plc (PTG), Shell, and Bangchak, to develop new distribution channels for agricultural output.

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