Thailand: Commerce Ministry trying to keep prices from rising

The Commerce Ministry is trying to maintain consumer product prices for as long as possible but has admitted to production cost hikes.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, who is also a deputy prime minister, said on Friday that the Department of Internal Trade is closely monitoring the prices of 18 products essential for daily living.

“There are efforts being made to freeze these prices as long as possible to minimise the impact on consumers,” Mr Jurin said.

He admitted that allowances would have to be made to ensure the survival of manufacturers on the risk of production stoppages leading to shortages.

The minister thanked business operators for their cooperation with state efforts and acknowledged that their production costs, including the costs of raw materials, transport and energy, have risen significantly.

Mr Jurin said that he is aware of rising production costs for instant noodles and the Department of Internal Trade is assessing how long the product’s price can remain unchanged.

Thammarat Chokwatana, an executive of the country’s biggest consumer goods conglomerate Saha Group, said price freezes would only be possible for a limited period if raw material costs continue to rise.

Mr Thammarat said some goods under the price control list are already being sold at a loss.