Vietnam seeks to control inventories, sales pressure

10:02 | 23/03/2020 Society

(VEN) - A sharp decline in consumer demand after the Tet holiday and the adverse impact of the Covid-19 epidemic have led to the lowest growth of retail sales and revenues from services in the first two months of 2020 compared with the same period in previous years.

vietnam seeks to control inventories sales pressure
Consumer demand currently focuses on specific kinds of goods, such as facemasks and liquid hand sanitizers

Downward trend

At a regular meeting of the Domestic Market Management Team in February, a representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department said that the Covid-19 epidemic has caused adverse impacts on supply, demand and prices of various kinds of goods in the global market, including falling prices of essential goods.

In the domestic market, trading activities have stagnated due to concerns about the rapid spread of the disease in neighboring countries. Only the sale of goods related to coronavirus infection prevention, such as facemasks, liquid hand sanitizers and specific kinds of medicines has increased.

Total retail sales of goods and revenues from services in February reached more than VND414.07 trillion, down 7.94 percent compared with January. The tourism and service sectors faced the strongest decrease, 13-20.97 percent; food, foodstuff, textiles and garments down 9.57-12.88 percent; and other groups down 7.88-8.36 percent. Total retail sales of goods in the first two months of 2020 reached an estimated VND863.86 trillion, up 8.33 percent compared with the same period last year - the lowest two-month growth rate in recent years.

According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the February consumer price index (CPI) was lower compared with January but higher compared with December and February 2019. Apart from the Covid-19 and declining consumer demand, CPI falls were attributed also to decreases in petroleum and gas prices.

Market supply and demand assessments

In the context of prices of medical materials heavily affecting the market, a representative of the Ministry of Finance’s Price Management Department said the Ministry of Health should add facemasks and disinfectants to price stabilization programs to be implemented in localities.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other ministries and sectors also need to control supply sources and market prices of pork. Appropriate measures should be taken in accordance with government instructions to reduce pork prices to reasonable levels.

Tran Duy Dong, Director of the Domestic Market Department, requested ministries, sectors, associations and businesses to propose suitable measures to stabilize the market based on accurate supply and demand assessments. Businesses should be guided and assisted to adjust their trading plans in order to prevent high inventories and sales pressures in the domestic market.

To promote sales, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will intensify trade promotion and encourage exports, while at the same time effectively implementing the Buy Vietnamese Goods campaign.

Thanh Ha