Prices of several commodities are being increased despite a ministry warning, while some suppliers in the UAE are refusing to deal with retailers who do not agree to accept the hiked rates, according to Arabic daily 'Emarat Al Youm'.
Even as a ministry official said they have not received any requests from suppliers to increase prices recently, Union Co-operative Society said it received requests to hike prices of at least 200 items.
An official from Beiersdorf - suppliers of Nivea products in UAE - on condition of anonymity, said: "The company increased prices on its products in January because the rise in prices of raw materials have affected the manufacturing costs."
An 'Emarat Al Youm' team visited several retail outlets and discovered a rise in prices of several essential goods. For instance, a 1.5 kg Persil washing powder that was priced between Dh19.5-Dh20 is now being sold at Dh21 and Dh24. The 3kg pack of the same product has seen an increase of about 20 per cent - up from Dh33-Dh34.5 to Dh36 and Dh41 in some shops.
A 175gram FA shop is up from Dh3.25 to Dh3.75, while deodorant of the same brand is being sold at Dh10.5 and Dh11, up from Dh9.5 and Dh9.75.
Nivea roll deodorant is also costlier by more than one dirham. A 150mm Aqua that cost between Dh9.75 and Dh10.75 is now priced Dh11 and Dh11.3.
A 1.8litre Afia corn oil is up by about Dh2. Retailers are now selling it for Dh23.5 and Dh24.5, up from Dh21-22.
Affan Al-Khouri, Executive Director, retail sector, Aswaq Company, said while some supplying companies have increased prices of products between seven and 37 per cent beginning January, a few others are planning to follow suit as is evident from their correspondence to ports last month.
Al-Khouri added that some companies warned they would stop supplying goods if retailers did not accept them at the revised price by February. One of the problems of price hikes is because a few companies hold monopoly over goods supply in the market, he said.
Meanwhile, they resort to various methods to manipulate, he said, such as changing the packing or at times reducing quantity.
Shawqi Khalil, Director, Purchasing, Union Cooperative Society, said thecompany received requests to increase prices of about 200 items from suppliers. Some cosmetics products has been increased in January, while they refused hikes in biscuits.
UCS is asking suppliers to provide ministry approval before implementing the revised rates, he added.
Dr. Hachim Al Nuaimi, Director of Consumer Protection in the Ministry of Economy, said: "The Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection has not given any approval to supplying companies to increase prices recently.
And, therefore, any price hike is a violation of the law and offenders will be fined anything between Dh5,000 and Dh100,000.