RPT-P&G and Unilever raise prices in China -paper

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SHANGHAI, March 28 (Reuters) – Procter & Gamble and
Unilever will raise their prices on detergent and soap
in China by up to 15 percent next month, the Shanghai Daily
reported on Monday.

Unilever confirmed the newspaper report but declined to give
additional details. P&G could not be reached for comment.

In anticipation of the price hikes, shoppers have been
clearing out shelves of detergents by the two brands at large
supermarkets, prompting local government officials to ask stores
to ensure adequate supply, the English-language Shanghai Daily
said.

Domestic brands have also raised prices by 5 to 15 percent,
the paper reported.

Chinese policy makers have been battling inflation, which
reached an annual 4.9 percent in February, as food and other
prices have soared, eating into incomes especially of the
country’s lower-income groups.

As China worries about balancing inflation with growth, it
has kept a keen eye on foreign companies operating in the
country. Earlier in the year, the economic planning agency fined
Wal-Mart Stores and Carrefour SA for
manipulating product prices. [ID:nTOE71L03Q]

Shanghai’s Development and Reform Commission, the local
planning body, is investigating the matter of P&G and Unilever
raising prices, the paper said.

McDonald’s Corp raised prices on its menu in China
in November because of rising materials costs.

Consumer goods makers have also been raising prices in other
markets.

Earlier in the month, P&G said it would raise its U.S.
detergent prices by 4.5 percent in June in response to rising
costs of raw materials, packaging and transportation.
[ID:nN18128833]

P&G and other consumer products makers are dealing with
higher costs for paper, aluminum and other goods used in product
manufacturing, as well as higher transportation costs.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Jason Subler)

RPT-P&G and Unilever raise prices in China -paper