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Beer prices rise as Tet approaches
With Tet (the Lunar New Year) still seven weeks away, beer prices have already started to rise.
A sales agent on Nguyen Van Nghi Street in HCM City's Go Vap District said prices of brands like Heineken, Tiger, and Saigon Special are higher than a month ago.
A carton of Heineken beer was sold for VND385,000 (US$18.8) last week compared with VND370,000 ($18.1) in mid-November.
Breweries increased prices by VND10,000-20,000 (50 cents-$1) per case in December.
A wholesaler said the price hikes were due to a 7 per cent increase by Viet Nam Brewery Limited (VBL), the manufacturer of Heineken and Tiger beers.
The price at the gate of a carton of Heineken is VND352,000 ($17.2). After passing through intermediaries, it rises to VND390,000 -395,000 ($19.1-19.3) by the time it reaches the consumer.
Phan Dang Tuat, chairman of Sai Gon Beverage Co (Sabeco), said the prices of the company's two main products, 333 and Red Sai Gon – which account for 80 per cent of Sabeco's production – have not risen.
"We have no plans to hike prices of these beers during Tet," Tuoi Tre quoted him as saying.
Speaking at a meeting held by the city Department of Industry and Trade on last week's Wednesday, its deputy director, Le Ngoc Dao, asked VBL to report on its beer production and distribution.
He also ordered it to ensure agents keep prices stable and publicise them.
Nguyen Thanh Dat, VBL's public relations manager, said the company has 41 first-level sales agencies in the city and fully meets their demand "so there is no shortage of supply."
But on Wednesday last week prices of brands like Heineken, Tiger, and 333 continued to rise.
At a shop on Dao Duy Anh Street in HCM City's Phu Nhuan District, 333 beer was sold for VND225,000 ($11) per carton and Tiger for VND380,000 ($18.6), up VND5,000 compared with a day earlier.