|Customers purchase vegetables at Coopmart supermarket on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in HCM City. Food prices in the city have dropped significantly after Tet. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS) — After Tet (Lunar New Year holiday), prices of food and farm produce at traditional markets in HCM City fell significantly compared to normal days, especially for vegetables, due to an abundant supply.
At Van Thanh, Thi Nghe and Tan Son Nhat markets, a kilo of Da Lat kohlrabi, for instance, was priced about VND7,000-10,000 compared to VND10,000-VND15,000 (US$0.46-$0.7) before Tet.
Broccoli prices fell to VND25,000-VND30,000 ($1.17-$1.4) a kilo, according to traders. Many other kinds of vegetables sold at prices 20 per cent lower than before Tet.
The price of Da Lat Lys flowers fell from VND100,000-VND180,000 ($4.69-$8.4) for a bundle of five sprigs before Lunar New Year to VND80,000 ($3.75).
The supply of farm produce and flowers were abundant while demand after the New Year was still modest, resulting in lower pices, said traders.
Prices of seafood and aquatic products were rather stable, with about VND55,000-VND60,000 for a kilo of pink tilapia, and VND55,000-VND65,000 for a kilo of carp or snakehead fish.
Supermarkets and convenient stores all reopened after Tet, but sales remained low compared to normal days of last month.
At supermarkets, customers mainly shopped in the morning, with fresh food being the bestseller.
Commodity prices at supermarkets remained stable. In addition, to stimulate sales, supermarkets such as Co.opmart, Big C and Lotte Mart have launched promotions with discounts between 5 and 49 per cent on offer on many products.
But prices remained high for eatery services because many of them applied a "Tet surcharge".
Le Thi Thu from HCM City's District 7 said that the service price hike during Tet was acceptable.
"While other people are off, they still have to sell food. Sellers have the right to set a price and customers can decide if they want to use those services," she said.
For instance, a pho eatery on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District charged VND30,000 for a bowl of pho, VND5,000 higher than the normal price.
The owner of the shop said that the "Tet price" will be applied until the middle of this lunar month.
Similarly, many eateries and coffee shops in many districts in the city are still applying "Tet prices", which are 15-25 per cent higher than normal prices.
Many hair salons increased prices by VND5,000-VND10,000 for their hair washing services before Tet, and they plan to maintain that prices for this year.
Parking fees, especially near pagodas, including Pho Quang in Tan Binh District, and Vinh Nghiem in District 3, remain high at VND10,000-VND15,000 for a motorcycle compared to the normal price of VND5,000. — VNS