The prices of disinfection products and their availability have stabilized. Supply of facemasks and respirators is limited in multiple categories, but their prices remain stable, as concluded in a price monitoring study performed by the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (PTAC).
On March 9, PTAC commenced price monitoring for items of first necessity in four biggest consumer goods Internet stores. On March 19, PTAC commenced price monitoring in seven largest trade networks. In total PTAC monitored prices for 69 products in Internet stores. At regular stores PTAC monitored prices for 209 products (such as rice, buckwheat, pasta, etc.).
Evaluation of the acquired data shows that prices have not changed in 45% of cases, prices have been applied with discounts in 43% of cases, prices have declined in 4% of cases and prices have increased in 7% of cases. Most often price increase was observed for specific types of buckwheat and rice, which was related to producers’ decisions to increase prices prior to the state of emergency. The monitoring helped show, which first necessity goods were available and which alternatives there were not, PTAC explained.
Considering the demand for disinfectants, April 7 marked the beginning of price monitoring for this type of product in 31 trade locations, covering the biggest trade networks, the biggest construction goods products, as well as petrol stations and pharmacies. 144 disinfectants were monitored. Of them, price increase was found for six disinfectants.
In spite of isolated price increases, there has been a considerable increase of supply of disinfectants and reduction of average prices – from 30.98 EUR/liter to 22.38 EUR/liter, or by 28% from the initial price. While at the beginning of the monitoring disinfectants were not available in many places, every week following the adoption of the state of emergency their supply continued increasing, particularly disinfectants made in Latvia.
As for protective facemasks, PTAC started price and availability monitoring on May 5. 230 trade locations were surveyed (59% trade locations and 41% Internet stores).
During the monitoring procedure it was found out that all types of facemasks were available for purchase in Latvia. However, accessibility of medical facemasks is reportedly lower.
Supply of hygienic masks was especially high. The same can be said for homemade masks. After the monitoring, experts declared 49% of tested respirators and 22% hygienic masks as inappropriate.
Prices of facemasks did not change in this period of time. It was the opposite – prices of medical masks and hygienic masks even decreased when compared to the beginning of the monitoring. The average price of respirators was EUR 5.85 at the beginning of the price monitoring. By the end of May it had dropped to EUR 5.28. A major price decline has been observed for hygienic masks from EUR 2.75 to EUR 1.97 and medicinal masks from EUR 1.20 to EUR 0.74. (BNN/Business World Magazine)