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Vietnam - Distributors hesitate to import goods amid low demand and high dollar price

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Vietnam - Distributors hesitate to import goods amid low demand and high dollar price

Post  lexie on Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:41 am

November 20, 2011

Distributors hesitate to import goods amid low demand and high dollar price

Trade companies all say they won’t import goods in big quantity for the year-end sale season because of the expensive dollar, while they foresee the low purchasing power in the domestic market.

Expensive dollar and low goods demand make importers hesitant

Deputy Director of NKC Company, specializing in importing food additives and materials, said that he had been moving heaven and earth to buy dollars these days to import goods for the year-end sale season. The dollar price climbed to 21,414 dong per dollar, while banks were not keen on selling dollars.

The businessman said that his company imported five containers of goods and it had opened L/C (letter of credit). However, the banks at which the bank has its accounts did not do necessary things, so that the enterprise could get customers clearance for the imports. The banks requested the company to make payment immediately for the consignments, not to use deposit accounts because the accounts would be locked.

Finally, the company had to borrow dollars from banks at the interest rate of 10 percent per annum, then it sold the dollars to the same bank for dong and used the dong to buy dollars from the bank to make payment for the imports.

The representative of Duy Tan plastics manufacturing company also said that the company has been warned about the difficulties in accessing dollar supply sources, therefore, the company has adjusted the business plan, while it only imports the volume of materials big enough for the production from now to Tet (February 2012).

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, the owner of Citimart, a retail chain, said that she still borrows and buy dollars to import goods for the year-end sale season as planned.

However, Hoa admitted that Citimart’s demand is not high, even though the Tet sale season is nearing. The dollar price increases have made import goods more expensive. Meanwhile, the domestic demand has been decreasing since people cut down expenses. Therefore, Hoa does not dare to import goods in big quantity.

Banks say they don’t lack dollars, but…

Deputy General Director of a joint stock bank in district 1 in HCM City has affirmed that the dollar supply has become profuse. However, since the bank has to buy dollars at high prices, it will have to sell dollars at high prices.

Truong Van Phuoc, General Director of Eximbank, has also said that the dollar supply has been improved if compared with late September and early October. People have sold dollars to banks to get dong to deposit at banks. This proves to be the preferable choice for now, because banks pay 14 percent per annum in interest rate for dong deposits, while paying 2 percent only for dollar deposits.

Phuoc went on to say that the narrowed gap between the dollar price quoted by commercial banks and the price in the black market has prompted people to sell dollars to banks instead of dollar traders in the black market. Meanwhile, banks can also collect dollars from other different sources, especially with the surplus payment balance and high volume of kieu hoi (overseas remittance).

Analysts have also predicted there’s no need to worry that one cannot buy dollars from now to the end of the year, because they can see positive signs showing the profuse supply.

A bank officer said that his bank is buying dollars at 21,200 dong per dollar, and selling at 21,400-21,500 dong per dollar. The prices vary depending on the relations between banks and businesses and the health of businesses. In general, banks now only sell dollars to loyal clients.

However, the officer believes that the demand for dollar has eased, since businesses have nearly finished their import plans. This explains why the volume of foreign currencies purchased by the bank has increased recently, while the sold volume has decreased slightly.

The interbank exchange rate is now staying at 20,803 dong per dollar. Vietcombank is now quoting the buy price at 21,005 dong per dollar and sell price at 21,011 dong per dollar, the same levels as last week.


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