El Niño fails to affect Thai food prices

El Niño fails to affect Thai food prices

A vendor sells fresh produce at a market in Rangsit. The government says seasonal drought has not affected product prices.
A vendor sells fresh produce at a market in Rangsit. The government says seasonal drought has not affected product prices.

The Internal Trade Department says the droughts caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon have yet to affect the prices of local goods.

The prices of fresh vegetables, limes and coriander are declining, as are fertiliser prices, said the department.

Chakra Yodmani, the department's deputy director-general, said the droughts have not yet had a significant effect in terms of price adjustments.

No business operators have requested price adjustments, and the department has asked for cooperation from operators to stabilise prices going forward.

"There are no reported shortages of fresh food products or significant increases in vegetable prices. The department will continue to monitor the quantity and prices of fresh food products," said Mr Chakra.

Regarding chemical fertiliser prices, in the central region they have dipped by 26-50% compared with mid-2022, which was a peak period for fertiliser prices.

The prices of nitrogen fertilisers such as urea 46-0-0 and ammonium sulfate 21-0-0 have decreased by 50% and 47%, respectively.

Phosphate fertiliser 18-46.0 has decreased by 26%, and potassium fertiliser 0-0-60 fell by 26%.

Urea is commonly used in the early stages of rice plantation, with a 16-20-0 fertiliser formula preferred in the later stages, he said.

Other fertiliser formulas are used as supplementary nutrients or for cultivating other types of crops.

Mr Chakra said current fresh food prices increased slightly from the previous month, with the average price of red pork 145 baht per kilogramme, up 1 baht.

The average price of chicken eggs (size 3) is 4.06 baht per egg, an increase from 4.04 baht per egg.

The uptick in fresh food prices was attributed to hot weather, which has led to a decrease in production, and increased demand as schools reopen and the tourism industry recovers, he said.

As for consumer goods, most have static prices or decreased because of promotions in department stores. This includes rice, sugar, canned food, fish sauce, seasoning sauce, body lotion, soap, laundry detergent, powdered milk, UHT milk and instant noodles.

Goranij Nonejuie, another deputy director-general in the Internal Trade Department, said fresh vegetable prices have consistently decreased because of favourable weather conditions.

The quantity of produce entering the market has returned to normal, such as limes, which previously were in short supply during the dry season from March to April.

The daily supply of limes to the market is 75-80 tonnes, compared with 45-50 tonnes previously. As a result, the prices of limes (grades 1-2) have fallen to an average of 4.60 baht per lime, down from the previous average of 5 baht per lime.

A further decline in prices is anticipated, Mr Goranij said.

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