Cold snap and Tet combine to increase prices in Hanoi.
Around this time of the year the number of people shopping at wet markets, wholesale markets, and supermarkets in Hanoi always increases, especially on the weekends. While the price of household appliances, decorations, and food in supermarkets remain the stable, purchase prices in wholesale and retail stores are on the rise, especially for dried ingredients and fresh food.
According to Ms. Nguyen Thuy Van, a shop owner in Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem district, overall prices haven’t fluctuated much as Tet approaches. Because of the falling gasoline price the price of industrialized goods such as sugar, milk, fish sauce, and cooking oil have remained unchanged. The price of dried food, however, such as noodles, mushrooms, beans, and rice have increased significantly over recent days. Some noodles have risen from VND50,000 ($2.25) to VND60,000 ($2.70) per kilo.
During the winter period the price of vegetables also rise sharply. Watercress has gone up to VND6,000 ($0.27) per pack, cabbage and sweet cabbage to VND15,000 per kilogram ($0.67), and kohlrabi to VND5,000 each ($0.22),due the cold weather leading to a shortage of supply.
One vegetable vendor at Dai Tu market in Hoang Mai said she had enough stock for a normal day but sold out by 11am.
According to the Chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, Mr. Vu Vinh Phu, at this time every year many prices became unstable. This year there are abundant supplies of industrialized Tet goods, including beer, cigarettes, sweets, and snacks in supermarkets. Supply of fresh food, spices, and vegetables are limited, however.
“Just before Tet the prices of goods at the market such as pork, bananas, fruit, chicken, and fresh seafood will rise by 20 to 30 per cent, as they are not available at supermarkets,” he said.