Although the Ministry of Finance has made many efforts to stabilise the market, milk prices have remained high, with another increase again in the middle of July after two rises in the first months of the year.

According to agents, there has been an average 3-10 percent increase, including a 10 percent increase for 17 kinds of fresh and powder milk under Danone Vietnam Co's Dumex and Dulac brand name, 5-7 percent for some Friesland Campina Vietnam products and the Republic of Korea’s XO which pushed prices up by 2.5 percent.

The price of Dumex Mama Gold baby formula milk powder stands at 233,000 VND (12.2 USD) per 800-gramme can up from 212,000 VND (11.1 USD) before, Dupro Gold 3 increased to 499,000 VND (26.2 USD) per 800-gramme can from a previous 454,000 VND (24 USD), and Dulac Gold increased to 328,000 VND (17.2 USD) from 298,000 VND (15.6 USD) per can.

The increase has been attributed by milk producers to the appreciation of some major foreign currencies, especially the US dollar, and price increases of input materials.

Nguyen Ngoc Kinh Luan, head of the foreign relations department of Friesland Campina Vietnam , said his company adjusted the milk product prices on July 15. The increase was caused by rising input costs and the Vietnamese dong/US dollar exchange rate.

According to statistics from the Price Management Department, imported milk prices increased 7-9 percent early this year and in March continued to rise at an average 8-10 percent.

However, the department said the current import milk price rises were unreasonable because current world prices were lower compared with those in May.

In the first seven months of the year, Vietnam 's milk products import turnover reached 432 million USD, an increase of 60 percent over the same period last year, according to the Vietnam General Department of Customs.

A Ministry of Industry and Trade survey show that the retail prices of some imported dairy products are four times higher than the invoiced import costs.

However, baby formula product dairy makers Mead Johnson, Nestle, Dumex and XO still retain a large market share in Vietnam./.