Locals seek necessities at Co.opXtra Vạn Hạnh in HCM City's District 10. Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn
HCM CITY — Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many food firms in HCM have been able to maintain stable prices for their products.
The current difficulty is a "test" to assess how professional businesses are keeping the city's food market stable.
After the first week of social distancing in HCM City, Trương Chí Thiện, general director of Vĩnh Thành Đạt Food Joint Stock Company, said the prices of chicken and duck eggs had remained relatively low.
Buying power has slowed down compared to last week, he said.
Previously, due to the fear of the epidemic and implementation of social distancing, the consumption of fresh food, including poultry eggs, rose dramatically. At some markets in HCM City, the price of chicken eggs and duck eggs skyrocketed by VNĐ10,000 per pack of 10 eggs.
“Businesses then immediately coordinated with supermarkets and food warehouses to replenish supply of food at the original price. Chicken eggs were sold at VNĐ26,000 per pack of 10 and duck eggs at VNĐ31,000 per pack. This set food prices at markets back to the normal state,” Thiện said.
According to poultry egg production and trading enterprises, the consumption of eggs during the social distancing period has not increased significantly. Meanwhile, the price of animal feed has risen by 20 to 30 per cent.
“Even though these firms have been suffering from a slight loss from duck egg sales, they all have agreed to keep prices stable. The current challenge for us is to affirm our role in helping the city get through this difficult period,” Thiện added.
Meanwhile, general director of Việt Nam Animal Industry Joint Stock Company (VISSAN) Nguyễn Ngọc An said that input prices had increased due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the scarcity of some materials which have to be imported from overseas, the output price of most products has not risen.
Since the price of live pork is on the decline, Vissan has offered discounts on some fresh pork products until June 16 to share difficulties with consumers and stimulate purchasing power.
“Locals only focused on shopping on the first and second day of social distancing. However, firms have continued to produce and store large quantities according to the city plan,” An said.
Large distributors such as Saigon Co.op, Central Retail, Satra and Vinmart are also negotiating with suppliers to postpone price adjustment and maintain stable prices for at least a few months.
The supermarket systems have promoted agricultural products and fruits with excess output because of the inability to export, and have coordinated with suppliers to offer discounts and strengthened telesales and delivery as well.
Maintaining a stable circulation of food is the most important task among businesses at this time.
Many firms said that social distancing has brought difficulties in terms of transportation of goods and medical declaration.
However, these have been handled by relevant authorities. For example, the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade promptly proposed that the city Department of Transport create favourable conditions for trucks to efficiently carry goods across the city around the clock, instead of during peak hours as before.
But transportation of goods to neighbouring provinces has encountered certain troubles. A few days ago, a Vissan delivery vehicle to Bạc Liêu had to return to HCM City despite having all the necessary documents and medical declarations.
Bách Hoá Xanh Joint Stock Company had the same problem when carrying goods to Long An. The checkpoint at the province requires drivers from HCM City to be vaccinated when passing the station.
After receiving complaints from similar firms, the province has agreed to allow vehicles to travel in and out of the area. However, firms must commit to take full responsibility if there is a risk of a positive case. — VNS