Saha lobbies ministry in bid to raise noodle prices

Saha lobbies ministry in bid to raise noodle prices

Mr Boonsithi, right, and Mr Thamarat promote the 26th Saha Group Fair.

Saha Group, the country’s biggest consumer goods conglomerate, is calling on the government to allow it to raise product prices, especially Mama instant noodles, as raw material costs continue to rise.

Boonsithi Chokwatana, the group’s chairman, said yesterday Saha would like the Commerce Ministry, which supervises goods on the price control list, to allow it to hike on a gradual basis the prices of goods such as instant noodles and detergents because raw materials have significantly surged and keep rising because of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“The prices of instant noodles are allowed to increase around the world, whether it is in Japan, China or Taiwan. If we aren’t allowed to raise prices, I’m afraid we cannot stay in the market,” Mr Boonsithi said.

“The price adjustment should be on a step-by-step basis to have the least impact on consumers.”

He is concerned about mounting inflationary pressure because of the war between Ukraine and Russia.

Boonchai Chokwatana, chairman of Saha Pathanapibul Plc, the distributor and marketer of Mama instant noodles, warned that product shortages are highly likely if the government continues to cap product prices.

He said manufacturers may have to reduce their production capacity or stop production because of losses.

Mr Boonchai said consumer spending sentiment in Thailand in the first half of this year improved slightly as infection rates decreased.

“If the number of Covid-19 infections continues to decline, the consumer shopping mood in the second half will be much better,” he said.

Given the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war and rising inflation trend, Mr Boonsithi said the group is holding off on any big investment plans in the short term, preferring to monitor the situation on a daily basis.

Still, the company is ready to invest in businesses that have potential, but the investment decision will be made on a case-by-case basis, he said.

In a related development, Thamarat Chokwatana, president and executive chairman of ICC International Plc, a cosmetics and fashion distribution arm under Saha Group, said the group is holding the 26th Saha Group Fair between June 30-July 3, both onsite at Bitec and online.

The fair offers products from more than 100 companies under the group’s umbrella, with more than 1,000 booths featuring food and beverage products, home furnishings, apparel, leather goods, shoes, cosmetics, sporting goods and electrical appliances.