Namyang gets on price hike wagon

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Namyang gets on price hike wagon

Namyang Dairy plans to raise prices of its milk products as early as next Thursday, according to industry sources yesterday.

It is the last of the major dairies to come close to raising prices, following Seoul Milk, Maeil Dairy and Dongwon F&B, which postponed a price hike last week. Namyang received withering press a few months ago when its bullying of small retail customers became known publicly.

The planned price hikes by the other dairies fell apart last week after major discount stores decided to maintain existing prices due to escalating competition among them. Discount retailer Hanaro Mart started the milk war by refusing to raise prices.

Namyang Dairy is reportedly discussing the matter with representatives of large discount chains next Wednesday and is making the price hike as early as next Thursday.

The hikes will likely be the same as the ones announced by competitors Seoul Milk and Maeil Dairy: A 250 won ($0.22) rise for 1 liter (0.26 gallons) of white milk, a 10.6 percent increase.

“We are preparing for the price hike but since there are many variables, we have not confirmed any of the plans yet,” said a spokesman for Namyang Dairy.

According to industry sources, Seoul Milk and Maeil Dairy are also going to try to raise prices next week.

Seoul Milk and Maeil Dairy are adhering to the original 250 won price hike plan and are currently negotiating with Hanaro Mart.

After the price of raw milk rose 106 won per liter on August 1, dairy companies have been losing 100 million won daily, and Seoul Milk said it has a 200 million won daily loss.

Consumer organizations have been demanding the dairy companies limit the price hike to 106 won per liter rather than 250 won.


BY kim jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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