NTUC FairPrice is again setting benchmark prices for essential food items. From tomorrow (20 June 2008), NTUC FairPrice will drop prices of 8 types of housebrand rice. The reduction in price of between 5 percent to 12 percent is in anticipation of new shipments of rice which have been secured at lower cost. The higher end reduction will apply to lower grades of rice. On top of the price reduction, consumers can still enjoy a further 5 percent discount on FairPrice housebrand rice.
Globally, rice prices have increased by more than 100 percent since March this year. As a rice importer, NTUC FairPrice is a price taker and is subject to global fluctuations in rice prices. NTUC FairPrice imports rice regularly to replenish its stock and the price it pays for new stock fluctuates according to market conditions. As a social enterprise, NTUC FairPrice is committed to be the last to increase prices and the first to drop prices.
Group Chief Executive Officer of NTUC FairPrice, Mr Tan Kian Chew said: “We have been monitoring prices of rice very closely to ensure we secure our rice at the best price. Due to our prudent purchasing strategy, we have managed to secure new shipments of rice at a lower price. Although the new shipments will arrive only in end July, and we are still clearing the existing stock of rice bought at a higher price, FairPrice is committed to pass on the anticipated savings to our customers by reducing our rice prices ahead of the arrival of the new rice stock.”
At the retail end, NTUC FairPrice conducts weekly price surveys to ensure that its prices are competitive. Its housebrand rice are priced at least 10 percent cheaper than comparable national brands. Since rice prices started to soar in March this year, NTUC FairPrice has seen more customers buying its housebrand rice due to the low prices. Some customers have also switched to housebrand rice as they recognise the value and quality offered by NTUC FairPrice housebrand rice. Over the period of April to May 2008, sales of NTUC FairPrice housebrand rice has increased by about 40 percent. Demand has since stabilised.
“As a rice importer, we are required under regulations to set aside sufficient stock for national emergency. We would like to assure consumers that NTUC FairPrice stockpiles more than two months supply of rice at any one time and there is enough stock to meet demand. We would like to remind consumers not to buy rice in excess of what they need. Excessive bags of rice stored at home may lead to wastage, as weevils can appear if the rice is kept for too long,” added Mr Tan.