Fri, Nov 17, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Uni-President to raise noodle prices

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

Shares of Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一食品) rose yesterday on news that the company will raise instant noodle prices between 15 percent and 33 percent from next month to reflect higher costs for ingredients.

Shares of Uni-President, the nation's largest food conglomerate, were up 0.84 percent at NT$30.20, a 0.29 percent increase in the benchmark TAIEX index.

In the morning session, Uni-President's shares jumped more than 3 percent, lifting the food subindex 2.57 percent and helping buoy the TAIEX by 0.63 percent.

The increase came as food makers struggle to pass on the higher costs of production due to rising prices for flour and pork lard which the company imports mainly from the US, a Uni-President official said.

"The main reason is that prices for pork lard and flour have risen and the decision was made recently to raise prices gradually from December," the official said.

Prices of packaged noodles and instant noodles packaged in a foam bowl will rise to NT$15 from NT$13 and to NT$20 from NT$17, respectively, the official said.

Smaller packages of ready-to-eat noodles will rise to NT$8 from NT$6, the executive said.

On the main bourse, the TAIEX closed up 20.63 points at 7,257.48, but investors were reluctant to push another Wall Street-inspired upswing further after the Dow's record performance overnight, dealers said.

Although technology bellwethers remained in the spotlight, they ended the session mixed due to profit-taking, they said.

Turnover was NT$109.02 billion (US$3.32 billion), with risers leading decliners 608 to 537, while 179 stocks unchanged, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange statistics.

On the foreign exchange market, the New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against its US counterpart on strong buying of US dollar from both importers and oil firms, traders said.

The NT dollar edged down NT$0.030 to close at NT$32.843 on the Taipei Forex Inc, with US$835 million changing hands during the day's trading.

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