Reports of price hikes due to shortages in Samoa

Scarce products have reportedly been hiked up in price in Samoa because of shortages due to shipping delays because of effects of the pandemic.

The Samoa Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour is investigating the claims.

Two major wholesalers, Chan Mow and Frankies, both reported a shortage of rice, but another wholesaler Ah Liki recently had a shipment of rice arrive, and had supplied retailers.

Samoa Observer reported that some shops with rice available had been accused of jacking up their prices in response to the shortage.

Commerce, Industry and Labour chief executive Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling said the ministry was investigating reports of price increases across the retail sector.

However, he said there was no law forbidding prices from being raised in response to a shortage of goods.

Pulotu said companies were encouraged not to raise prices, and a public notice had been published to warn against price hikes.

Inspections are being carried out this week by the ministry's staff across the country's retail sector.