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Thai Government Prohibits 20% Price Hike on Instant Noodles

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Thailand’s Commerce Ministry on Thursday blocked an attempt by manufacturers to raise the price of instant noodles. The manufacturers tried to blame the price hike on higher production costs driven by a hike in global oil prices.

Thailand’s Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said manufacturers were not allowed to increase the retail prices of instant noodles products at this time. Because above all, it would increase the burden on consumers who are already coping with the rising cost of living.

During a meeting with the Commerce Ministry after arriving in Phuket, he stated, “The Commerce Ministry has not approved an increase in noodle prices.”

He added that the ministry was trying to hold the prices as long as possible.

The minister said instant noodles are one of the 18 essential items on the ministry’s price control list. Prices are capped, and any price increases must be approved by the ministry.

Thailand’s Retailers and Wholesalers Association said on Tuesday that instant noodle prices will increase by about 20% to reflect production costs. The retail price of a large package of noodles would increase from eight to 10 baht if the proposal was approved.

Instant Noodles under price control

Somchai Pornrattanacharoen, the president of the retailers association, said that the prices of products should be determined by the market, not the government.

According to the Commerce Ministry, consumers can be unfairly taken advantage of by price gouging during emergencies or disasters. This is when retailers dramatically increase prices for essential consumer goods and services to maximize profit.

To prevent any possible shortages and hoarding during the Coronavirus outbreak, the Commerce Ministry established seven war rooms in March of 2020. The war rooms oversee essential consumer goods and services sectors.

According to the Commerce Minister, the war rooms will monitor items, including processed food, rice, ready-to-eat fast food like instant noodles, drinking water, fruit juices, beverages, medical supplies, product transport, as well as home delivery services.

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