City asked to give salt producers, traders interest-free loans

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Ho Chi Minh City's agricultural and trade departments have proposed that the municipal administration provides zero-interest loans to salt producers and trading companies badly hurt by falling prices.

The departments said the city's People's Committee should use its price stabilization fund to offer zero-interest loans to help state-run businesses buy 68,000 tons of salt from fields in Can Gio District, the city's salt-making area.

They said salt farmers and cooperatives should also be allowed to access such loans so that they can build warehouses to store their produce, and wait for more favorable prices.

Salt prices are currently at VND500-600 per kilogram, much lower than last year's VND1,500-2,000 per kilogram. The low prices are discouraging many farmers from harvesting their salt.

Experts said salt prices have fallen this year as bumper crops (as a result of the prolonged hot weather) and imported salt caused a market glut.

In February, the Ministry of Industry and Trade allowed local companies to import 170,000 tons of salt.

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