Prices are all increasing: seafood, vegetables and... even mandarin oranges?!
Have you been feeling the pinch for the past two weeks?
The rainy season, as comfortable as the weather may feel, has caused prices of vegetables and seafood to rise.
The monsoon season has caused flooding in various parts of Malaysia. Many fishermen in Malaysia are not able to fish during rainy weather, as many of their boats are not able to withstand strong waves and wind. This reduce the amount of seafood imported into Singapore, as many fishermen are reduced to casting their nets close to the shoreline.
However, according to Azli Mohd Aziz, president of the South Johor Fishermen Association, the increase in seafood prices is due to the middlemen jacking up the prices during this monsoon season.
Fishermen are still selling their haul at their usual price but the middlemen are jacking up the prices by an average of 30 to 40%.
The monsoon season has also caused the harvest of vegetables to drop. This in turn also affected the prices of vegetables.
Stallholders at wet markets report an average of 50% increase in price for vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, bittergourd and spinach. Other vegetables, like cucumber, have seen an increase of 80 to 90% in price.
Unfortunately, this increase in price is expected to last till next month, at the very least. It has been reported that the prices of mandarin oranges, a staple at Chinese New Year, will also be increased. Well, at least for mandarin oranges from China and Malaysia.
While the current increase in seafood and vegetable prices is due to too much rain, the increase in mandarin oranges prices is due to too little rain and a weakened ringgit.
In China, too little rain had caused the harvest to be reduced. The prices of mandarin oranges is estimated to increase by 30 to 40%. However, the exact price increase can only be determined closer to the import dates.
In Malaysia, the prices of mandarin oranges last year had increased by 30%. This year, due to various reasons, there would be yet another 30% increase in the price.
Fortunately, despite the rising prices of mandarin oranges from both China and Malaysia, Taiwan is not looking to jack up the prices of their mandarin oranges.
According to reports, the production of mandarin oranges in Taiwan was relatively stable. This translation to close to no fluctuation in price.
It is expected that Taiwanese mandarin oranges would be the cheaper and more attractive option for Chinese New Year in 2018.
(Image Credit: Reuters, Seth Lui)
Singapore Food & Beverage
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