Ministry finds no proof of alleged pepper price scam

In the first seven months of 2017, Viet Nam’s pepper export volume was estimated at 145,000 tonnes and valued at $800 million, up 20.4 per cent in volume but down 18.2 per cent in value against the same period last year. — Photo tingialai.com Domestic pepper prices have been fluctuating abnormally from late July until now, with the VPA blaming price manipulating measures used by Chinese businesses. On July 28, pepper prices in the morning ranged from VND80,000 to VND86,000 (US$3.5 - $3.8) per kilo, then dropped to VND82,000 per kilo in the early afternoon. Currently, pepper prices are still bouncing up and down. Tran Huu Thang, a pepper farmer in the southern province of Dong Nai, said pepper prices in the province dove sharply to VND75,000 per kilo three weeks ago, however, on August 8, the prices rose to VND95,000 per kilo. Some pepper export enterprises attribute this price fluctuation to Chinese traders who order large quantities of pepper from pepper exporters at any price. Then, they rush Viet Nam’s exporters to deliver as soon as possible. Under pressure to fulfill the contracts, many firms buy pepper from farmers and agents at high prices. Meanwhile, the Chinese traders contact the local pepper purchasing agents and promise to sell the pepper to them below market value. The agents agree, aiming to sell it on to exporters again. However, Chinese businesses only sell a small portion at a low price, then claim…... [read more]

Domestic pepper prices have been fluctuating abnormally from late July until now, with the VPA blaming price manipulating measures used by Chinese businesses. In the first seven months of 2017, Việt Nam’s pepper export volume was estimated at 145,000 tonnes and valued at $800 million, up 20.4 per cent in volume but down 18.2 per cent in value against the same period last year. - Photo tingialai.com On July 28, pepper prices in the morning ranged from VNĐ80,000 to VNĐ86,000 (US$3.5 - $3.8) per kilo, then dropped to VNĐ82,000 per kilo in the early afternoon. Currently, pepper prices are still bouncing up and down. Trần Hữu Thắng, a pepper farmer in the southern province of Đồng Nai, said pepper prices in the province dove sharply to VNĐ75,000 per kilo three weeks ago, however, on August 8, the prices rose to VNĐ95,000 per kilo. Some pepper export enterprises attribute this price fluctuation to Chinese traders who order large quantities of pepper from pepper exporters at any price. Then, they rush Việt Nam’s exporters to deliver as soon as possible. Under pressure to fulfill the contracts, many firms buy pepper from farmers and agents at high prices. Meanwhile, the Chinese traders contact the local pepper purchasing agents and promise to sell the pepper to them below market value. The agents agree, aiming to sell it on to exporters again. However, Chinese businesses only sell a…... [read more]

Traders producing and importing milk and food supplements for children under 6 years old will be allowed to self-determine the retail prices for their products, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) announced on Wednesday. Customers purchase milk at a Co.op mart supermarket in HCM City. - VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ During a meeting held in Hà Nội on Wednesday, the MOIT provided guidelines for the implementation of Circular No. 08/2017/TT-BCT on the registration and declaration of prices of milk products and food supplements for children under six years old. The circular will come into effect starting August 10. According to the Circular, producers and importers of milk products will be allowed to determine their milk product retail price. They must carry out procedures for registration of recommended retail prices with regulatory authorities during the period in which the State implements price stabilisation policies, said Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department Nguyễn Lộc An. He added that the registered recommended retail prices will serve as the basis for State management of prices. Competent State management agencies will also supervise the registration and declaration of the prices of businesses. “Final retail prices of milk products must be listed publicly and not exceed registered recommended retail prices,” An said. Producers and importers of milk products may carry out registration of different recommended retail prices which should be…... [read more]

Inflation rises 14.61 percentVietnam's inflation highest in Asia The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the first seven months of 2011 kept growing abnormally, with a sharp increase in April. Then, after two months, it bounced back to 1.17 percent in July. According to economists, there are many reasons for the increasing prices of food, foodstuff, as goods, including short supplies on account of epidemics, bad weather, speculative activity and price manipulation. In addition, there are unreasonable fees paid for goods passing through the hands of middlemen, says Vu Vinh Phu, chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association. He notes that the price of sugar delivered from factories is VND17,000 per kilo in factories but it is VND26,000 in the retail market. It is high time to stop the monopoly over the sales of goods, especially essentials, he says. He predicts that the CPI will slow down in August. However, other economists say, synchronous measures should be put in place to keep the rate of inflation in 2011 at 17 percent because it has already risen over 14 percent in the first seven months. They also propose expanding production to ensure the supply of goods, especially food and foodstuff and tightening the management of food exports and market prices. Vu Dinh Anh, Director of the Market and Price Research Institute under the Ministry of Finance, says managing market prices is part of efforts to curb inflation but it is still based on administrative measures. According to the Department of Price Management under…... [read more]

Identifying difficulties Dr Vu Nhu Thang, head of the National Institute for Finance (NIF), says despite the global economic downturn, Vietnam maintained an annual GDP growth rate of 6.8-7 percent between 2006 and 2010, and mobilised a considerable amount of domestic and foreign capital to raise total social investment to 43 percent of the country’s GDP. However, the senior expert warns that the national economy is facing many challenges like slow economic restructuring, modest industrial growth (accounting for 41 percent of GDP), and high trade deficit estimated at 20 percent of total export earnings. Notably, Thang says the capital-based growth model has revealed weaknesses. The capital mobilisation rate is higher than the saving rate; budget overspending remains high at about 5.7 percent of GDP; foreign investment attraction shows signs of instability; some foreign investment projects are crawling along; industrial and high-tech investments do not live up to expectations; while high foreign exchange and loan interest rates place the burden on businesses. In addition, it is difficult to mobilise capital from the stock and bond markets, as well as from the international capital market, says the expert. International economic experts share the view that although Vietnam has quickly recovered from the recent global economic meltdown, it is faced with difficulties in mobilising capital for development, including low retail sales, unclear monetary policies and high trade deficit. Dr Dang Ngoc Tu, an NIF official, proposes synchronous financial and monetary solutions to develop the capital market. Accordingly, Vietnam should lower inflation to a…... [read more]

Market analysts have made this forecast despite high consumer demand for a number of commodities at the year’s end, and potential widespread epidemics ò bird flu and blue ear pig disease. However, large stockpiles of commodities will ensure an adequate market supply in the coming months, nipping any price manipulation in the bud, said analysts from the Domestic Market Management Group. Local rice prices are expected to rise slightly due to the usual high demand in the lead up to the traditional Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) as well as the positive signs for rice exports. Prices of fresh food will remain unchanged, except for vegetables which have suffered due to recent harsh weather. There will be no increase in sugar prices as 30 mills are scheduled to be put into operation in November to churn out 120,000 tonnes of sugar. This new output along with the stockpiled volume will meet business demands of confectionary and jam production for the holiday season. Imported milk prices are expected to go up slightly due to fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate. The livestock feed market will remain stable while pork and chicken prices are dropping significantly. Fertilizer prices are likely to increase slightly as farmers are preparing for the winter-spring crops. Unlike in previous years, steel consumption is falling considerably due to stagnation in the real estate market and high ending interest rates.... [read more]

It has accused Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage JSC, producer of the popular Saigon Beer, of rigging prices within its system of 11 distributors to pay less tax. Luxury tax is calculated on the price at which a producer sells products to distributors, and this must be at least 90% of the price at which the distributors then sell. The tax was 50% for beer in 2013. Sabeco paid the tax based on the price it set for Sabeco Trading Co. Ltd, which it fully owns, the audit office said in its report to the Ministry of Finance. The distributor then sold beer to 10 "regional" distributors in each of which Sabeco owns a 90-94% stake, it said. This allowed Sabeco to set low prices and pay less taxes, an unnamed finance ministry official was quoted as saying by the newspaper. In its report, the audit office recommended that the ministry should order Sabeco to pay taxes on the price at which its regional distributors sell to retailers. If this is accepted, the brewer would have to pay a total of VND4 trillion (US$183.23) for 2008-14, Tuoi Tre reported. But the audit office asked the company to pay its 2013 debts first, saying since the total amount is huge, Sabeco would need time to pay up. No violations In response to the state audit office's charges, Sabeco has "continuously" filed complaints with relevant ministries, claiming it did not violate any rules, the newspaper reported. The proposal to change the method of…... [read more]

Viet Nam News HCM CITY - Crocodile farmers and enterprises have suggested establishing a crocodile breeding and production association to strengthen links between them, so they can protect the market against being manipulated by foreign traders. The crocodile breeding industry is now relying heavily on Chinese consumption, which leads to price instability when the relationship between individual breeders and between breeders and enterprises is lacking. These were the most concerning issues discussed by participants at a conference on improving the competitiveness of crocodile products, held by the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development early this week. Tôn Thất Hưng, Deputy Director of Hoa Cà Crocodile Ltd Co, said the market had developed spontaneously, without planning or guidance. The lack of investment in processing technology means most products sold are raw materials. He attributed the crocodile breeders' inability to decide on prices to the lack of co-operation in production among them. Recently, foreign traders, mainly Chinese people, visited small crocodile farms directly to buy crocodiles and crocodile leather. They no longer need Vietnamese intermediaries, so they were able to manipulate the prices, Hưng said. In 2014, crocodile prices rose to a record high of VNĐ230,000 (US$10.3) per kilogramme, leading farms to rush to increase the number of crocodiles they produced. But now, prices have dropped to VNĐ60,000-70,000 per kilogramme, causing losses for many households. The affected companies have asked authorities to adopt measures to prevent price manipulation by Chinese traders, which would affect economic security. As reported by the departments…... [read more]

Viet Nam’s first derivatives market is expected to become operational next year, according to a top stock market official. Nguyen Thi Hoang Lan, vice chairwoman of the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, told a seminar on risk prevention in the derivatives market held in HCM City yesterday that next month the results of the market’s trial run would be reported to the Government and official trading would begin in the first quarter of 2017. “In the initial stage the products will be simple ones like futures contracts for indexes and Government bonds, and more complicated products will be introduced later,” said Lan. Dang Tai An Trang of the State Securities Commission said there were market, counter-party and liquidity risks as well as interconnection risks. Prevention solutions include separating brokerages’ money and securities from that of clients, and not allowing brokerages to use clients’ money or securities for proprietary trading, he said. Securities companies need to be professional and their employees need to be ethical, regulations stipulate. “The market must be operated with fairness, effectiveness and transparency,” Trang said, adding that financial safety should be closely monitored. Tran Thi Thu Ha, director of the Ha Noi exchange’s derivatives market department, said the choice of products would help prevent price manipulation. An important factor is that the price fixing mechanism must ensure fairness and follow international practices. Trinh Hoai Giang, deputy general director of HCM Securities Company (HSC), said his company had developed a risk management structure made up of inspection and governance,…... [read more]

HCM CITY - Việt Nam's first derivatives market is expected to become operational next year, according to a top stock market official. Nguyễn Thị Hoàng Lan, vice chairwoman of the Hà Nội Stock Exchange, told a seminar on risk prevention in the derivatives market held in HCM City yesterday that next month the results of the market's trial run would be reported to the Government and official trading would begin in the first quarter of 2017. "In the initial stage the products will be simple ones like futures contracts for indexes and Government bonds, and more complicated products will be introduced later." Đặng Tài An Trang of the State Securities Commission said there are market, counter-party and liquidity risks as well as interconnection risks. Prevention solutions include separating brokerages' money and securities from that of clients, and not allowing brokerages to use clients' money or securities for proprietary trading, he said. Securities companies need to be professional and their employees need to be ethical, regulations stipulate. "The market must be operated with fairness, effectiveness and transparency," Trang said, adding that financial safety should be closely monitored. Trần Thị Thu Hà, director of the Hà Nội exchange's derivatives market department, said the choice of products would help prevent price manipulation. An important factor is that the price fixing mechanism must ensure fairness and follow international practices. Trịnh Hoài Giang, deputy general director of HCM Securities Company (HSC), said his company has developed a risk management structure made up of inspection and…... [read more]




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