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Commerce Ministry Denies Price-Fixing Rumours

Phnom Penh: With the pandemic starting to have an impact on food prices, the Ministry of Commerce says it is not engaged in price fixing. It says only the basic trading principle of supply and demand is at play. Food prices have been rising in recent weeks, as border closures and increases in fuel prices cause havoc for transport and logistics companies.

Rumours began circulating in Cambodia’s markets about rising prices recently, particularly that of pork and other fresh foods. Fingers have been pointed at the Ministry of Commerce, but it says it is not fixing prices – either at markets or at the petrol pump. It says it is guided by the country’s constitution and trade agreements with neighbouring countries.

It has reminded Cambodians that international oil prices have been climbing in recent months, as major economies reopen around the world. This has a knock-on effect for transport costs, which, in turn, drive up the price of food. Border closures and increased logistical challenges are also having an impact on food prices. It does say though that any food producer found to be taking advantage of the situation and engaging in price gouging will be investigated if reported by members of the public.

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