HCM CITY (VNS) — Traders in many HCM City traditional markets have cut down on stocks even though Tet (Lunar New Year) is just three weeks away due to low demand.
A shopkeeper in Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District said instead of stocking tonnes of confectionaries and other dry foodstuffs for Tet like in previous years, this year they only have a few dozen kilos.
She added that in the past people would begin to shop nearly two months before the Lunar New Year, but the market is quiet this year.
As a result of the lack of demand, traders only buy more from wholesalers after they sell out all their stocks, she said.
The same situation is reported in many other markets like Ben Thanh in District 1, Lon in District 5, Binh Tay in District 6, and Thai Binh in District 1.
A shopkeeper in Thai Binh said she was sitting on fire because if the situation persisted she would have no Tet.
However, the prices of many products have risen sharply: dry foodstuffs like bamboo shoot are up by 5-50 per cent, while many spices are up by over 10 per cent.
Confectionery prices have risen by a reported 10 per cent.
Traders blame the price rise on the high cost of water, electricity, gas, and transport, though some admitted that they push prices up to earn a little extra before Tet.
One trader said he increased prices to make bigger profits because of sluggish sales. — VNS