Sat, Feb 12, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Consumers’ group asks for price checks

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Consumers’ Foundation has decided to deliver a formal petition next week to ask the government to screen commodity prices to see if recent increases are justified, the foundation’s head said yesterday.

Foundation chairwoman Joann Su (蘇錦霞) said that at the outset of the global financial crisis in 2008, commodity and retail prices in the country rose as the prices of international raw materials surged to historical highs.

However, when raw material prices on world markets fell because of the weakening global economy, retail prices in Taiwan did not follow suit.

Now, as international prices have not returned to their 2008 highs, wholesale and resale prices in Taiwan have already started to creep higher, Su said, urging the Fair Trade Commission to see if basic commodity vendors were engaging in monopolistic practices.

Should the government fail to investigate the issue or not publicize the results of its probe by the end of this month, the foundation said it would file a complaint with the Control Yuan, the branch of government that monitors public sector practices.

According to the foundation, a recent survey of bakery chains showed that bread prices have been moving higher.

The price of taro bread has increased from NT$28 to NT$30 per roll, while the price for a package of five small bread rolls has risen by NT$5 to NT$65.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Flour Mills Association said this year’s first shipments of wheat, which arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, were priced in a range between US$348 to US$494 per tonne, much higher than July’s US$247 per tonne, but still off the high of US$700 per tonne recorded during the financial storm in 2008.

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