Laos will set a new official price for pork as merchants struggle to sell the meat at the set government price of LAK 36,000 (USD 4) per kg.
Currently, the Grade A pork is traded between about LAK 43,000 and 45,000 per kg in the market, with merchants blaming middleman raising the price.
Vientiane Times quoted an official from the Domestic Trade Department, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, as saying that the department and Vientiane authorities are discussing setting a new price to bring it in line with market mechanisms amid complaints from both consumers and vendors about the price.
The official said the new price is expected to be announced to the public and related sectors this week and it will not be too high for consumers.
The official also noted that vendors who sell pork above to-be-announced price will be fined or otherwise penalised in line with the law.
The sharp increase of the pork price comes after a viral infection that killed many pigs over the past few months and caused a shortage, the official told Vientiane Times.
Such an infection also affected neighboring countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and China, raising the pork price there as well.