Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Firms consider price cuts in response to weak yen

By Helen Ku and Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporters

A small number of companies selling Japanese brands yesterday agreed to consider cutting prices on the back of a recent run of weakness of the Japanese yen, in a seemingly positive response to a call by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the ministry said.

Eleven companies attended a meeting arranged by the ministry yesterday.

The companies included auto distributors Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) and China Motor Corp (中華汽車), Yulon Motor Co Ltd (裕隆汽車), casual clothing retailer Muji (無印良品) and Procter & Gamble Co, which sells the Japanese-made cosmetics brand SK-II in Taiwan.

The companies signed a joint agreement and promised to consider future price cuts if the yen continues to weaken against the US dollar.

The yen has depreciated by about 15.8 percent versus the US dollar over the past year, the ministry’s data showed.

Hotai spokesman Yu Shiao-chung (喻曉忠) said the company would inform their Japanese suppliers about the current situation in Taiwan and discuss the firm’s pricing policy with them accordingly.

Yu said that Hotai had decided to extend the period of its sales promotions to the Lunar New Year holiday, including interest-free payment by installments.

Some firms said there was scant room for them to cut prices as the goods they sold now were imported last year when the yen was strong, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭) told reporters.

Procter & Gamble went against the trend by announcing yesterday that the company planned to increase prices for SK-II cosmetics by between 4 and 8 percent this month.

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