Rationing arrives in Phuket
PHUKET: Major retailers in Phuket including Tesco-Lotus and Super Cheap have introduced rationing of some items because of supply shortages due to the ongoing floods in central Thailand and Bangkok.
Thursday 27 October 2011, 08:06PM
The items include rice, water and dairy products.
Supplies of some items are also not reliable, Governor Tri Augkaradacha and MP Rawat Areerob heard today when they visited Tesco-Lotus, Big C and Super Cheap to check on the effects of the severe flooding.
The store manager of Tesco-Lotus, who asked media not to mention his name, told the governor that condensed milk and sugar were out of stock. More had been ordered but it was not certain when fresh stocks would arrive.
The manager added: “Some brands of tinned fish, tissue paper and sanitary napkins have run out. Water remains in stock because the distribution centre sent it by air. We have been getting rice every day, though not all brands.
“The prices of all our products have not changed.”
The manager of Big C, who also asked not to be named, said that he was out of sugar but expects new stocks soon. Rice and water have been arriving every day, though not all brands. The store still had some brands of condensed milk on its shelves.
Boonsom Anantajaroonwong, Managing Director of Super Cheap, told the Governor and the MP that the store still has stocks, but admitted that some products have risen in price.
He said he has enough stocks of dairy goods, water, sugar and other items to last 10 days. Stocks of rice are enough for about three days.
The Governor said that the province has already reported the situation to Bangkok, which is encouraging imports from other Asean countries and has itself ordered 100,000 tonnes of rice from neighbouring countries. It will take about two weeks for this rice to be distributed around the country.
A special provincial team is to be set up to keep an eye on the situation.
The Governor added that anyone with complaints about price gouging can call him direct on his mobile phone at 089 203 2924.
Meanwhile the Phuket Provincial Internal Trade Office (ITO) has been checking reports of rising prices.
ITO Chief Supadcha Boonpalit, told The Phuket News, “We have had complaints about price rises in some places, and about shortages, so we have sent inspectors to check.
“We have found that generally there are still enough supplies of food in the shops but some prices have already risen. For example, rice has gone from B185 for five kilograms to B195, limes have gone from B21 a kilo to B51 and condensed milk from B22 to B25 a can.”
The largest rises were seen in the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables sourced from See-mum-muang market at Ratchaburi. This is a major distribution centre which is itself facing rising prices.
Ms Supadcha added, “Bottled water has not run out, but stocks are lower than normal. Some stores are limiting buyers to one case of water each.
“Supplies to the big stores have been reduced because their warehouses in Bangbuatong in Pratum Thani province and Wangnoi in Ayutthaya province have been affected by the flooding. In addition, some factories, including some coffee-makers, have been forced by flooding to suspend production.”
Inspectors checked Super Cheap after complaints of price rises. The management convinced them that the rises were due to a combination of higher transport costs and higher prices charged by producers.
Ms Supadcha added: “People should not hoard product because this leads to shortages and thus to price rises.”
Dr Sirichai Silapa-archa, President of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, told The Phuket News that the Chamber plans to organise a sale of food at lower prices next Thursday and Friday (November 3 and 4) from 9 am to 4 pm at the Chamber office on Montri Rd, Phuket Town, opposite Sengho book store.
“Following this we will hold similar sales on the first Wednesday and Friday of each month. We are cooperating with [food giant] CP Co and the relevant local government authorities to sell products such as rice, pork, chicken, eggs and more at prices lower than the market price.
“For more information, people can call 076-217567-8 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”