Veggie prices in Malaysia spike from bad weather, strong demand

GEORGE TOWNBad weather and strong demand have led to an increase in vegetable prices in Malaysia.

For the past two weeks, cauliflower prices have shot up by more than 100 per cent - from RM7 (S$2.30) to RM16 a kg - while cai xin, a Malaysian staple, has increased from RM3 to RM9 per kg.

Penang Island Vegetable Wholesalers Association chairman Tan Ban Ben said the price and supply of vegetables are largely determined by the weather.

He said the price of spinach, depending on quality, is between RM3 and RM4, compared with RM2 a kg before the Covid-19 pandemic. The price of chilli is also higher now, with the local market selling it for RM10 to RM15 a kg.

"The monsoon season has affected the production of vegetables, especially in places such as Cameron Highlands. Vegetables always cost more during the rainy season or prolonged dry days. The rainy season also sees imported vegetables from Thailand costing more," he said.

Mr Tan assured Malaysians that the supply will be adequate for upcoming festivities, adding that prices would be reduced once the rainy season is over.

Consumer Association of Penang president Mohideen Abdul Kadir said for the past two weeks, prices of some vegetables have increased by almost 200 per cent.

He said among the vegetables that saw a huge rise in prices were broccoli (150 per cent), beans (88 per cent), cabbage (50 per cent), red chilli (46 per cent) and green chilli (40 per cent). - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK