Fresh seafood costlier by 30%

White pom­fret now close to RM120 per kilo

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

PE­TAL­ING JAYA:

Chi­nese New Year may be an ex­pen­sive af­fair this year as prices of some fresh seafood items have gone up by at least 30%.

The prices for some must-have items for the re­union din­ner such as the white pom­fret and white prawns have in­creased and could see fur­ther hikes as the fes­tive sea­son draws near.

Kuala Lumpur Hoi Seong (Seafood) As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Toh Sung Chuan said the white pom­fret, which was usu­ally sold be­tween RM80 and RM90 per kilo, was now close to RM120 per kilo.

“Near­ing Chi­nese New Year, the price can even go up to RM150 per kilo.

“The usual price for white prawns is be­tween RM60 and RM70 per kilo, but now, the price is RM90 per kilo,” he said.

Toh said there was a high de­mand for white pom­fret as many res­tau­rants serve this as a main item dur­ing Chi­nese New Year, which falls on Jan 28.

Other types of fresh fish such as ikan kem­bung (In­dian mack­erel), black pom­fret and ikan teng­giri (Span­ish mack­erel) have also in­creased in price.

Black pom­fret, which usu­ally re­tails at RM26 per kilo, is now RM32 per kilo while ikan kem­bung is RM18 per kilo and ikan teng­giri has reached RM30 per kilo.

He said that apart from the de­mand for Chi­nese New Year, the bad weather due to the mon­soon sea­son had also caused a short­fall in sup­ply.

“But I be­lieve the prices will be back to nor­mal af­ter Chi­nese New Year,” he said.

Fish­eries De­vel­op­ment Author­ity chair­man Datuk Seri Dr Ir­mo­hizam Ibrahim said 145 tonnes of frozen fish buf­fer stock have been made avail­able to help with the short­age of fish in the mar­ket.

As for veg­eta­bles, the Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysian Vegetable Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tan So Tiok said the prices of most veg­eta­bles have not gone up much ex­cept for high­land cab­bage, where the farm price is about RM4 per kilo.

“At one time, the price of cab­bage used to be 50 sen per kilo due to ex­cess in sup­ply.”

Cameron High­lands Vegetable Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary-gen­eral Chay Ee Mong said cur­rently there was no crit­i­cal short­age of veg­eta­bles ex­cept for cab­bages be­cause not much was be­ing im­ported.

Vegetable im­porter Datuk Seri Teh Meng Huat said the price of cab­bage had con­stantly been high over the past few years.

“The rea­son cab­bages are ex­pen­sive is be­cause it is a con­trolled item which needs an im­port per­mit.

“How­ever, I be­lieve the whole­sale price for cab­bage this en­tire month will not be more than RM60 for a bag of 20 ki­los,” he said.

“I be­lieve the prices for im­ported veg­eta­bles will be sta­ble un­til the end of this month.”

The Do­mes­tic Trade, Co-op­er­a­tives and Con­sumerism Min­istry will hold a press con­fer­ence on the Fes­tive Sea­son Price Con­trol Scheme next Wed­nes­day.

Shop­ping time: Cus­tomers brows­ing through rooster-themed dec­o­ra­tive items at a shop in Kuala Lumpur. — SaM THaM/ The Star

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