Vientiane authorities are carefully monitoring the price of pork after it rose above the Lao government’s set price, affecting the large number of people who regularly buy this popular meat.
The Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department announced that vendors should sell pork for 36,000 kip per kilogramme but merchants are now selling it for more than 40,000 kip, with prices differing across the city’s markets.
The impact of this is being assessed through information being collected from pig suppliers, middle-men and vendors. A detailed report is expected to be received by Vientiane authorities in the near future, according to a department official.
The report will then be submitted to the government so that a solution can be sought.
Shoppers have observed that the price of pork rose when the supply of pigs dropped. Meanwhile, the price of pork purchased from Vietnam, Thailand and China is also increasing.
A Vientiane vendor, Boua, told Vientiane Times she sells pork for 45,000 kip per kilogramme because she has to buy it at a high price.
The price rose a few weeks ago when there was a shortage in the supply of pork, she said.
Major pork suppliers in Vientiane, notably CP Laos Co, Ltd and Betagro Laos, said they were still supplying sufficient pigs and pork to the market, according to authorities.
Pork is one of several food items whose price is controlled by the government. A maximum retail price has been set to prevent traders from increasing their prices unreasonably.
The recent floods and a widespread outbreak of African swine fever killed thousands of pigs on farms, which resulted in a shortage of pigs for market supply.
The first cases of swine fever occurred in Saravan province, while many pig farms were also affected by flooding, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
China’s Customs Committee will reduce the import tariff on pork in response to the outbreak of swine fever in China.
The Chinese government will implement import tariff reductions this month, lowering tariffs on consumer goods and appliances.
The tax reduction is seen as a great opportunity for Lao businesses, who have the chance to benefit from a large market and a huge number of consumers.