B8 is too much for instant noodles, says commerce minister
published : 16 Aug 2022 at 14:35
writer: Mongkol Bangprapa
Instant noodle manufacturers' requested two-baht-per-serving price increase is too much, according to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.
"A two-baht increment is too high and would affect low-income earners too much," Mr Jurin said at Government House on Tuesday.
He was responding to questions about manufacturers' request to raise the retail price from six to eight baht. Instant noodles are on the Commerce Ministry's price control list of essential goods.
Asked if a one-baht increase would be acceptable, Mr Jurin said the Department of Internal Trade would look into the cost of producing the goods. He had told it to permit a realistic increase, which reflected the actual cost, if an increment was necessary.
"The impact on consumers must be minimal but enable operators to survive and not have to face losses, suspend production or export all their products to markets overseas where prices are higher. Consumers must continue to have access to instant noodles," said Mr Jurin, who is also a deputy prime minister.
Instant noodle manufacturers had been asking for a price rise for nearly two years, but the Department of Internal Trade had withheld approval pending its study on the possible effect on consumers, the minister said.
The last increase was 14 years ago, in 2008, when the price went up from five to six baht a packet, he said.
He said it was correct that instant noodle production costs had risen, because of the higher prices of energy, electricity, gas, transport and raw materials, including vegetable oil and wheat.
"However, I have laid down my policy, that if costs fall then prices must decrease accordingly," Mr Jurin said.
On Monday the manufacturers of the five largest instant noodle brands for the first time since established half a century ago joined forces in calling on the ministry to allow them to raise their prices.