HCMC – Imported food prices have risen by 5-10% due to the weakening of the Vietnamese dong currency against the U.S. dollar.
The dollar rise has benefited exporters but made life difficult for importers. Pham Ngoc Hung, vice chair of the HCMC Union of Business Associations, said the exchange rate volatility had dramatically impacted food prices as over 70% of foodstuff companies buy material from abroad and shipping fees are denominated in U.S. dollar.
Kieu Tan Vu, marketing director at the Royal Seafood International Trading Company Limited, said the company imported seafood from foreign countries and paid in U.S. dollar. The company spends an additional VND2 billion a month on inputs due to the dollar increase against the dong.
According to the HCMC Department of Finance, the consumer price index in October increased 0.45% over September, with the food price index up 0.17% month-on-month.
The biggest challenges for businesses in the industry are the input cost hikes and the wider trading band of the local currency, as they prepare to boost output for the Tet 2023 buying spree, said Ly Kim Chi, chairwoman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of HCMC.