Cabinet to monitor commodity prices
By Lauly Li ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Cabinet yesterday said it has formed a special task force to monitor changes in commodity and raw material prices following an electricity rate hike slated for Oct. 1.
September 5, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) yesterday held a meeting to discuss the electricity price adjustment's effect on commodity prices, the changes in vegetable prices after several tropical storms swept across the nation recently, and the price changes of mooncakes.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said that it will introduce a mechanism in mid-September to work with import and export companies, manufactures and marketing channels to stabilize commodity prices.
A meeting will be held every Friday to monitor price changes.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) and the Consumer Protection Committee (CPC) have also been requested to keep a close eye on prices and the supply and demand of agricultural products.
The Cabinet said it understands that people may believe the coming electricity price adjustment may lead to commodity price changes, and in turn that businesses may store up products and therefore increase commodity prices.
The government will continue to pay close attention to market prices and will take action if it discovers abnormal price fluctuations, the Cabinet said.
People can file a report with the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau if they believe a business is storing up on stocks to manipulate prices.
Deputy COA Minister Chen Wen-te (陳文德) said the price of vegetables has increased by 70 percent due to rain and floods over the past few weeks.
Farmers have resumed vegetable cultivation and the COA expects the price of vegetables to stabilize before Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 19.
The COA said it has contacted farmers' associations to import vegetables, noting that approximately 2,080 tons of vegetables will arrive in the nation before Sept. 19.
Most Mooncake Prices Remain the Same
As the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, CPC Director-General Liu Ching-fang (劉清芳) said the committee has inspected the price of 366 mooncakes from bakeries, retail stores, supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide.
Eighty percent of vendors surveyed have not increased their mooncakes prices from the same time last year.
Those that have raised prices did so to reflect the cost of changing packaging, recipes or ingredients. The CPC added that there are a few bakeries that have lowered the price of mooncakes.