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Japanese nuclear catastrophe prompts Chinese to purchase salt in Vietnam   2011-03-23 - Viet Nam Net

Chinese people have been rushing to cross the border to Vietnam to collect iodine salt, because they heard that it could protect people from radioactive infection.


 

Fearing that radioactive substance leaking from the exploded nuclear reactor in Japan may flow to the sea and contaminate seawater, Chinese people in He Kou have been rushing to Vietnam to collect iodine salt, which has made the salt price skyrocket.

 

The owners of salt shops in Coc Leu ward in Lao Cai province said the salt market has become more bustling than usual. The salt price has increased by 35-50 percent and the salt stocks were sold within two days.

 

A lot of retailers said they have to purchase salt at high prices in order to satisfy the increasing demand. The overly high demand has caused a huge “price fever attack”. On normal days, a 50-kilogram iodine salt pack is priced at 105,000 dong. Meanwhile, the price has soared to 160-200,000 dong these days.

 

Luong Manh Tuong, who runs a family shop on Hong Ha Road in Lao Cai province reportedly sold seven tons of salt on March 17 alone at 200,000 dong per pack, an increase of 85,000 dong per pack. Tuong said that the clients were mainly Chinese people and some Vietnamese small merchants.

 

Nguyen Thi Tam, the owner of a shop on Hong Ha Road, near Coc Leu Market, also said that on March 17, a lot of Chinese people came to ask for two-kilogram packs of iodine salt. After that, some Vietnamese merchants also came and asked for 50-kilogram packs. On March 17 alone, she sold 100 packs of salt, at 180,000 dong per pack, which is 75,000 dong per pack higher than the price at which she sells salt on ordinary days.

 

“I heard that Chinese people are trying to collect salt because they fear the salt may be affected with radioactivity due to the radioactive substance leaking from a nuclear plant in Japan. They believe that iodine salt can help ease the negative impacts of radioactivity,” she said

 

A Chinese owner of a shop in He Kou has confirmed that Chinese people are rushing to store salt, thus pushing prices up. A 2 kilo pack of salt is selling at 5 yuan. All the shops in He Kou have run out of salt, therefore, they have to collect salt in Lao Cai province in Vietnam. The salt price has skyrocketed in Lao Cai, but Chinese people feel happy because the supply is profuse and they still can buy salt.

 

According to VnMedia, on March 17 alone, about 30-40 tons of salt were sold to Chinese people. Pham Thi Ha, a senior official of the Lao Cai border gate’s customs agency, said the salt price in Chinese He Kou has increased dramatically, which has prompted Chinese people to look for salt in Vietnam.

 

Le Minh Canh, Director of Lao Cai Trade Company said that the demand for salt is still increasing because people fear that the salt made from contaminated sea water will not be safe to humans. Chinese retailers are trying to import as much salt as possible to meet the increasingly high demand.

 

Chinese authorities have been trying to stabilize the salt market by persuading people to keep calm. Chinese healthcare experts have been trying to explain that iodine salt cannot prevent radioactive risks. Meanwhile, China is thousands of kilometers from Japan, so is unlikely to be affected with radioactivity.

 

According to Tien Phong, Chinese authorities have tightened the salt imports from Lao Cai province. Local residents in the border area can carry 5-10 packs of salt when crossing the border.



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