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Cheaper dollar not a boon as expected   2008-04-04 - ThanhNienNews

Although the dollar has lost ground against the dong in recent weeks, which should have made imported goods cheaper for consumers, the actual market prices of imported goods have not dropped as expected.

 
Though foreign imports are relatively cheaper thanks to a declining dollar, consumers have not yet reaped benefits due to escalating input costs  
Although the dollar has lost ground against the dong in recent weeks, which should have made imported goods cheaper for consumers, the actual market prices of imported goods have not dropped as expected.

 

 

Prices of most import items, instead, have shot up from 5 to 20 percent.

Interior design and plastic importer Sakimco’s Vice President Huynh Huu Phuoc said his company had increased its products’ prices by about five percent this year.

Phuoc attributed the price increase to rising input prices worldwide, emphasizing that if the dollar had not lost its value, import prices would have climbed higher by six to eight percent.

Earlier this month, all milk importers raised prices by 4 to 10 percent, blaming the soaring cost of raw materials.

The effect of the declining exchange rate is perhaps most salient in the import automobile sector where the number of foreign cars imported in the first two months of this year has more than tripled compared to the same period last year.

Saigon Ford’s President Phan Duong Cuu Long said the prices of import automobiles however would not be reduced significantly since the Ministry of Finance has recently increased the tax on imported cars from 60 to 70 percent.

Long said the tax bump has made his company cautious in temporarily halting its import plans.

At the moment, Saigon Ford is awaiting any further changes in governmental policies which may affect import status.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, prices of input materials indeed soared in the first two months of this year.

The price of steel billets surged by 70 to 72 percent, fertilizers by 62 percent, oil by 57 percent, raw plastic by 7 percent, and cotton by 3 percent.

Not only imported goods, but locally-produced ones are also becoming more expensive.

Most recently, major super-markets increased the prices of more than 300 foreign and local products as local distributors and producers raised sale prices.

Local producers have blamed higher product prices on increasingly expensive inputs, especially oil.


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