Hike in price ‘inevitable’, warns producer of Mama noodles

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022

The Commerce Ministry has told the manufacturers of instant noodles – a popular food for many Thais – to maintain the retail price of a basic packet at 6 baht for as long as possible.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Friday that he will not permit a price increase any time soon despite manufacturers’ repeated requests over the past several months.

“The retail price will be maintained at 6 baht per basic packet of instant noodles. The Department of Internal Trade has not allowed a price increase yet,” he said.

Jurin, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, voiced sympathy for the producers of instant noodles who have been hit badly by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

He also noted that many are likely to suspend production if they are not able to make profits.

“But that will lead to a new problem of no goods in the market. We need to find a balance,” the minister said.

If a price increase is inevitable, it should have the “least impact” on consumers, the minister said.

He added that the Department of Internal Trade would negotiate with manufacturers so all parties involved are satisfied, “under a win-win model”.

Earlier, Saha Group had asked to increase the price of its popular Mama instant noodles because the cost of raw materials, especially wheat and palm oil, had risen significantly.

The group’s chairman Boonsithi Chokwatana said the current economic situation was worse than the 1997 Asian financial crisis when higher costs had forced Saha Group to increase the retail price of its products.

“It’s no different today. Saha Group needs to raise the prices due to the constant increase in the cost of raw materials,” he said.

According to Boonsithi, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was not as bad as the impact of the ongoing war, which does not seem to have an end in sight.

“Price increase is inevitable for Saha Group. We will minimise the impact on consumers and give them time to prepare,” he said.