Hanoi is preparing to maintain adequate supply of price-controlled goods for the approaching Tet holiday (Lunar New Year) in mid-February 2015.

The municipal department of industry and trade recently asked the concerned organisations to keep a close watch on the market to prevent any imbalance of supply and demand, scarcity of products and sudden price increases.

The department estimated that the total retail sales in the city during the Tet holiday will increase by about 20 to 25 percent, compared with the months of normal consumption, especially with regard to fresh food and vegetables.

The prices of many products could increase closer to Tet due to higher demand in comparison with the other months. For instance, the price of rice is forecast to increase by one to three percent and of pork by five to eight percent.

The prices of beef, chicken and seafood could rise by eight percent to 15 percent, while that of processed food could rise by 20 to 25 percent.

The consumption of beverages, alcohol and confectionery will increase closer to Tet, comprising 10 to 15 percent of the total consumption during the Tet holiday.

According to the industry and trade department's plan, companies will prepare adequate supply of price-controlled goods, such as 4,000 tonnes of rice, 900 tonnes of pork and 450 tonnes of chicken and duck, besides 5.5 million eggs, 200 tonnes of frozen seafood and 1.5 million litres of cooking oil, as well as 1,500 tonnes of vegetables, worth a combined 276.75 billion VND (13.05 million USD).

There will be 600 points of sale of these price-controlled goods, besides existing stores and supermarkets.

Trade centres and supermarkets in the city have also agreed to increase their reserves of goods, worth 2.3 trillion VND (108 million USD), for the Tet holiday by 10 to 15 percent over normal months.

About 200 mobile shipments of price-controlled goods will be sent to rural areas and industrial zones.

According to Ho Quoc Khanh, head of the trade management department, besides preparation of goods for Tet, the municipal department of industry and trade will increase market-watch activities to prevent smuggling and counterfeit goods.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the total product value that companies plan to prepare for the months before and after the Tet holiday will be more than 15.8 trillion VND (745.3 million USD), up 109 percent over the previous Tet.

Among these, the total value of price-controlled products will be 8.3 trillion VND (391 million USD), nearly 70 percent higher.-VNA