Milk prices in Vietnam have been adjusted upward 16 times over the past three years, causing difficulties for a lot of consumers, news website VietNamNet reported Sunday.
It quoted the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) as saying dairy companies had hiked their prices by 3-10 percent every two to three months.
Regular reasons cited by dairy firms included new package designs, higher input costs and increases in foreign exchange rates.
Milk prices have been raised by 4-10 percent this year by major brands including Abbott, Mead Johnson, Friesland Campina Vietnam, XO, Dumex, Meiji, VCCI said.
According to a recent report by the Vietnam Competition Administration Department, up to 80 percent of milk powder products in Vietnam are imported.
This means the local milk market is closely connected to the world market, but the problem is that domestic prices have continued to surge irrespective of global price trends.
The department said although it could not find evidence showing that dairy firms in Vietnam colluded with each other to hike prices, there was still a chance that such a ploy was used.
While milk prices keep surging, dairy farmers are struggling nationwide.
Nguyen Dang Vang, vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Science, Technology and Environment Committee, told Thanh Nien that dairy firms only pay local farmers around VND7,000 per liter of milk.
At this price, farmers suffer losses and find it too difficult to expand production, he said, noting that the country’s dairy cow population only grew 4.9 percent in recent years.