The price of many essential goods is expected to remain high until the end of the year, following a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on July 19.

The price of rice would rise slightly due to an increase in Thailand's export rice price while other food prices are at their highest ever due to crop diseases, higher input costs and a boost in exports to China and Cambodia.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development predicted the price of livestock products on the domestic market would fall 10 to 15 percent in August.

Milk product and sugar prices would remain high, with the latter at 21,000-22,000 VND per kilo, the ministry said.

The prices of domestically produced drugs are expected to fluctuate depending on input costs, while imported medicines and raw materials would be subject to import prices.

Fertiliser prices would increase till the end of this year due to rising import costs but the prices of essentials such as animal feed, steel, cement and paper are forecast to remain unchanged.

The cost of retail domestic gas would fall slightly due to the downward trend in the price of imported liquefied gas.

Salt prices would remain stable in northern and central provinces and rise slightly in the Mekong Delta. Salt is up 50 percent in price over the same period last year, now standing at 4,000-5,000 VND per kilo./.