Residents, markets, and restaurants of Laos struggle to afford meat, particularly pork and beef, as prices continue to rise.
According to a report by the Laos Statistics Bureau, pork prices increased from LAK 49,985 per kilogram in January to LAK 70,366 per kilogram in December of last year – a 40 percent increase. For addition, beef meat prices rose from LAK 78,819 per kilogram to LAK 97,510 per kilogram during the same period – a 24 percent increase.
The official statistics are supported by two markets in Vientiane Capital that were contacted by The Laotian Times. Their reports also indicate that increases in prices may continue into 2023 as well.
According to a butcher at Non Kho Market, the price of pork meat was between LAK 60,000 and LAK 65,000 in November and December of last year. This year, however, the price has increased and will continue to rise.
“Now, pork meat costs between LAK 75,000 and 78,000 per kilogram, whereas beef begins at LAK 120,000 per kilogram. Customers always complain about inflation when prices rise,” the butcher explained.
Mr. Someyod Khampaseth, manager of Lao Aussie Fresh Market, confirmed that economic issues – such as inflation and the fluctuation between the local currency and the Thai baht – have been important factors impacting meat prices.
“The majority of meat in my market is raised in the country, but some other stores need to supply food that must be imported from Thailand and other countries,” said Mr. Someyod.
Both markets stated over the phone that meat and other animal-based products have prices set by their distributor.
Inflation in Laos increased to 39.27% in December 2022, with food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rising by 45.3 percent in the same month even more than healthcare equipment and medicine costs which increased by 42.1 percent.