KUCHING: The current rainy season is believed to have caused a short supply of fresh food, resulting in a price hike.
New Sarawak Tribune visited several markets in Kuching and Samarahan and found that the prices of fish and vegetables increased.
The prices of fish and other seafood increased significantly between RM3 and RM7 per kg.
Adam Jobli, 42, a fishmonger from Samarahan said the prices of fresh fish had gone up significantly, which had caused them to get their supply from a frozen fish supplier.
“We don’t have enough supply of fresh fish. But even when we do, the prices are too expensive for us to make a profit,” he said.
Adam added that some fishmongers had resorted to buying and reselling imported fish due to the low supply.
Most fishmongers at the markets agreed that the supply chain determined the prices of the fish. When supply is low during rainy season, the price increases, forcing them to sell it at an even higher price.
Meanwhile, Roslah Nan, 43, a greengrocer said the prices of vegetables was also increasing.
“The prices of vegetables are rising and supply is getting less. We had to increase our prices since the prices of suppliers increased between RM2 and RM5 per kg,” she said.
According to Roslah, there were some vegetables that grew better during the rainy season which caused their prices to decrease. The vegetables mentioned included chillies and long beans.
A customer, Firdaus, 58, said the price hike did not affect him much.
“I think the increase in prices is necessary for our local fishmonger and greengrocer to make ends meet. But I still hope this is only temporary and prices will come down after the (rainy) season ends.
“I know those with lower income would be greatly affected by this and I hope supply will increase soon,” he added.
Muhammad Haiqal, 23, a student from a university here, said the prices of fish and vegetables were overwhelming for a student.
“My housemates and I used to spend roughly RM70 per week on groceries. But since the rainy season, we had to spend over RM100 a week, which is quite significant, especially for students like us,” he said.