On average, the prices of food products in Romania have increased only moderately over the past couple of weeks since the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the head of Romania’s Competition Council, Bogdan Chiritoiu, commented.
The prices of some goods increased by only 1%-2%, those of other goods by 10%-20% - but there is no general visible upward trend, Chiritoiu said.
The highest prices are seen in the area of imported goods, where the cost of transport has been increasing across Europe. There is no increase that would justify the state’s intervention at this moment, he added. The prices of some goods actually decreased in March compared to February and this demonstrates that the market mechanisms are still functioning, he argued.
“We continue to carefully monitor the market and where we have suspicions of agreements between companies, there we will intervene,” said Chiriţoiu, quoted by Economica.net.
He recommended consumers to use the Food Price Monitor application to get information about product prices in the big retail networks.
As regards the high price hikes in the area of sanitary goods, Chiritoiu said that the state might have to take extreme measures, though.
Under the state of emergency, the state can confiscate for public use sanitary goods, or can fix the prices, he stated.
“We see big increases in prices for sanitary products, protective equipment, disinfectants. As is known, exports have been banned in this area and the Government imports, through Unifarm or other instruments, protective equipment. Local producers are shifting toward producing surgery masks or disinfectants. In any case, this is a market that clearly does not work well. We observe it carefully, we have investigations, and if the suspicions are confirmed we will apply fines. Tougher intervention might be required unless prices return to normal,” said Chiriţoiu.
(Photo: Consiliul Concurentei Facebook Page)
Romania’s Competition Council warned companies not to take advantage of the greater demand from consumers amid the panic...