Vegetable import prices increase due to bad weather
Bad weather in neighbouring countries have hit the import prices of some vegetables hard, said some importers in Singapore.
They told The New Paper that they have seen a dramatic increase in the import prices since last week.
Vegetables imports from Malaysia and Thailand now cost more. For example, the owner of Sheng Cai Vegetable Supplier, Mr Lim Lian Chai, has seen the price of coriander nearly triple.
Prices of celery and spring onion have also increased by 20 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.
Said Mr Lim: “A kilogram of coriander used to cost about $5 or $6, now it is about $15 a kg. (Vegetables) with sensitive roots, such as bok choy, are more badly affected by the waterlogged soil in Malaysia.”
Mr Jerry Tan, assistant secretary of the Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association, confirmed the price hikes.
The price of the Japanese cucumber has seen a 50 per cent jump, while prices of French beans and coriander have gone up by 70 per cent and about 60 per cent respectively, said Mr Tan.
NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Despite the price increase, a spokesman for NTUC FairPrice told TNP: “The bad weather has not caused any significant change in the prices of vegetables or fish sold at our supermarkets.”
On Monday, Shin Min Daily News reported that prices of celery at wet markets have increased from $5 to $6 a kg, while spring onion and coriander prices have gone from $6 to $7 a kg and $14 to $16 a kg respectively.
Prices of fish have remained largely unaffected.
Punggol Fish Merchants Association chairman Daniel Pesaid: “Most of the fish we import from Malaysia are farm-raised, so the weather is not really affecting the fish yield.
“Demand for fish has not surged so prices have remained stable so far.”
Mr William Tan, chairman of Seafood Industries Association Singapore, offered another reason.
“It is not so much of the weather affecting the prices of the fish, but because of Ramadan and (the upcoming) Hari Raya,” he said.
“Any increase in the prices of seafood will more likely be due to increased demand then.”
Mr Tan said: “The availability of frozen seafood (as alternatives) also helps in stabilising the prices.