Fertiliser suppliers pledge price freeze until 2009
Manufacturers of chemical fertiliser, pesticides, car batteries and auto tyres yesterday pledged to freeze their prices until the end of the year now that oil and raw material prices have eased.
The decision was announced after company executives and Commerce Minister Chaiya Sasomsab met to discuss helping consumers deal with inflation.
The price freezes, particularly for fertiliser and pesticide, could cut farmers' costs in the main rice crop season starting from November.
Earlier, manufacturers had asked the ministry to approve 15-20% price increases citing raw material costs. Fertiliser manufacturers said urea was trading at US$690 per tonne, up from $400 last year; phosphate at $1,200, up from $430; and potash at $1,000, up from $700.
Plengsakdi Prakaspesat, president of the Thai Fertiliser and Agricultural Marketing Association, said the association needed to discuss with members, particularly small traders, how long they could shoulder rising costs.
He called on the government to protect farmers and fertiliser producers with ''fair'' measures to control prices and to monitor price speculation by wholesalers and retailers.
Mr Chaiya said car battery makers had agreed to cut prices by 5-10% as raw material costs had fallen. New stock prices are expected to be cut today and old inventory prices over the next two weeks. Tyre makers said they would announce their price cuts next week.