Four more products now cheaper
Prices of four more products in addition to lube oil were set to be cut by 5-10% starting yesterday, in keeping with falling oil prices.
Boonyarit Kalayanamit, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said manufacturers in the four groups of products — plastic pellets, cement, roof tiles and steel — yesterday agreed after meeting with authorities to cut their prices by 5-10% on average.
The price of plastic pellets will be cut by 3.85% to 7.7%, while cement will be cut by two to three baht per 50-kilogramme bag. Roof tile prices will drop by 5-7% or three to four baht apiece.
The price of steel rods will be cut by 1,500 to 2,000 baht a tonne, while steel plate prices drop by 1,000 to 1,500 baht a tonne and structural steel by 1,000 to 1,200 baht per tonne.
Fertiliser prices were already cut earlier by 10-30 baht per 50-kg bag on the back of a government request to help farmers, he said.
Mr Boonyarit said authorities would next call a meeting with consumer product manufacturers and entrepreneurs to cut their prices.
He said this week the department would also declare new recommended prices for cooking gas, adding that there were many complaints from people over traders' profiteering and delivery overcharges.
The new recommended prices for cooking gas will not exceed 395 baht per 15-kg cylinder including delivery charges for distances of five kilometres or less.
On Jan 7, Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said 43 consumer items, particularly those on the ministry's price control list, could be subject to price cuts in light of falling oil prices.
The price control list covers mainly essential items for consumers' daily use including food, consumer products, farm-related products such as fertiliser, pesticide, animal feed, tractors and rice harvesters as well as construction materials, paper, petroleum and medicine.
Foods include garlic, paddy rice, milled rice, corn, eggs, cassava and cassava products, wheat flour, yoghurt, powdered and fresh milk, sugar, vegetable and animal oils and pork, with consumer products comprising detergents, sanitary napkins and toilet paper.
Businesses making or selling products on the list are required to inform the authorities of their production costs and seek approval before any price increase.
Authorities have threatened to take legal action against producers or traders refusing to cut prices.
Penalties include a maximum of seven years' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 140,000 baht.
- Consumer prices