New items tipped for price control list

Despite growing pressure from the weakening baht, consumer prices are expected to remain stable in the first quarter as operators and vendors retain adequate inventory to handle demand.

But the Commerce Ministry says the baht's continued weakness may prompt a surge in prices of certain products.

It plans to add items such as liquid soap, shampoo and fabric softener to its price control list.

Santichai Santawanpas, deputy director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said officials have been closely monitoring factors including fuel and electricity costs that could affect goods prices but have found no serious effects.

Nonetheless, operators and vendors could cite those factors and the weaker baht as an excuse to raise goods prices.

"The department will keep an eye on how long the baht falls," Mr Santichai said yesterday, adding that a weak baht may result in higher costs for products based on imported raw materials.

He said a weaker baht is unlikely to deliver a sudden impact to prices of such products, as most operators and vendors carry one or two months' worth of stock.

The department has ordered makers of certain products including herbicides and animal feed to cut prices by 5-10% after production costs were found to be lower.

Regarding a recent request by cooking-oil makers to raise the price of palm oil from 42 baht per one-litre bottle due to higher palm nut prices, Mr Santichai said the decision has yet to be made and rests with a subcommittee to meet next Wednesday.

In related news, the department is preparing to review its price control list to see which items should be removed or added before submitting the revisions to a central committee for consideration this month.

The list now contains 43 items, all of which are essential for daily use.

New items will likely include mobiles and information technology gadgets.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 04/01/2014 at 06:41 PM
How many 'Lost in Space' Thai's bump into you as you walk down the street because they are so engrossed in their damn phone toys they can not be bothered to look where they are going. LOL.
Discussion 2 : 04/01/2014 at 03:34 PM
Rice, cooking oil, sugar all would be far more important than shampoo. Who makes up this list??? They should be impeached.
Discussion 3 : 04/01/2014 at 03:06 PM
Price control or subsidy is sure way of bankrupting the national piggy bank, just look at Malaysia and Indonesia, their budget for subsidy is more than defence spending. A better way was to allow market forces determine the prices and intervene by flooding market with price sensitive products when it goes too high.
Discussion 4 : 04/01/2014 at 12:34 PM
Maybe they would feel the need to control prices which is foolish if they hadn't fanned inflation with their nonsense polices .
Discussion 5 : 04/01/2014 at 09:48 AM
Why Shampoo? It's one of the many branded products extensively advertised on TV for which the customer pays, together with the printing and packaging to make it look good, thus the advertising and packaging costs more than the product. It makes sense to buy an unbranded product or a store brand at less than half the price as it does exactly the same job - unless of course you believe the ads.
Discussion 6 : 04/01/2014 at 09:44 AM
"New items will likely include mobiles and information technology gadgets." Now just how essential are those to everyday life, really.
Discussion 7 : 04/01/2014 at 09:24 AM
Another brilliant economic policy from the Government that we will all pay for later. As any Economics 101 student has learned, price controls on commodities have been attempted since Roman times, and those policies always resulted in failure.

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