CPI on target despite swine fever and planned petroleum shortfall

08:48 | 11/12/2019 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Vietnam will likely reach its target of keeping the 2019 consumer price index (CPI) growth under four percent. Ensuring sufficient supply of goods and essential commodity price stability in the last months of this year is crucial to achieving this goal.

cpi on target despite swine fever and planned petroleum shortfall
It is necessary to ensure sufficient supply of pork to meet domestic market needs

Pork price surge

Speaking at an October meeting of the Domestic Market Management Team in Hanoi, Ta Thi Thu Viet, Deputy Director of the Price Statistics Department under the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) said the October CPI increased 0.59 percent over September’s - the highest October index growth of the past three years. However, in the first 10 months of 2019, the price of commodities grew 2.79 percent compared to the same period in 2018, the lowest first-10-month increase of the past three years.

The price of 10 among 11 product categories increased. About 327,000 tonnes of pork were destroyed due to the African swine fever outbreak in 63 provinces and cities nationwide. The outbreak has decreased the country’s pig herd by 20 percent and therefore boosted domestic pork prices, an important staple of Vietnamese households, by 7.8 percent. This price increase is expected to continue through the remaining months of this year.

A representative of the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Price Management said the growing demand for pork will push up prices beyond the forecast of 10 percent for the last three months of this year, since it has already gone up 7.85 percent compared with the same time last year. The price could go as high as 15 percent, contributing 0.5-0.7 percent to the CPI.

The demand for oil and petrol is also expected to increase significantly in the remaining months of the year. The fact that the Nghi Son Refinery has halted operation for maintenance in the last months of the year is expected to limit supplies.

Nonetheless, the CPI growth is still expected to meet the upper 4-percent limit set by the National Assembly, Deputy Director Ta Thi Thu Viet said. It is important to ensure stable supply of essential goods, including pork and petroleum, especially in January when both Solar and Lunar New Year Holidays occur, she said.

Ensuring sufficient supply of goods

According to the GSO, the CPI will increase in the remaining months of the year due to the growing demand for such consumer goods as food and foodstuffs, garment, textile, footwear, and public transport services.

A representative of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the African swine fever outbreak has passed its peak. As of October, no new outbreaks were reported during 30 days in 44 percent of all communes. Some provinces have announced the end of the outbreak. There are 25 million pigs nationwide, and the pig herd can be developed to ensure sufficient pork supply in the future, the department representative said. Supply of beef, eggs and chicken meat is increasing to support the supply of food and foodstuffs, he said.

Tran Ngoc Nam, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) said that by the end of November, petroleum traders will have to import about one million cubic meters of petrol and oil to make up for the petroleum shortages caused by the suspension of Nghi Son Refinery’s operations. As a major petroleum trader, Petrolimex will try to ensure sufficient petroleum supply and propose that the Vietnam Petroleum Association work with other major traders to keep supply stable in the remaining months of the year, Nam said.

Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and Head of the Domestic Market Management Team, said that from now to the end of the year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, localities and businesses need to find solutions in order to ensure sufficient pork supply, especially ahead of the Tet holiday in January.

Phuong Lan