KUALA LUMPUR: The price of fish and vegetables are set to increase due to the monsoon season.
As fishermen brace themselves for a considerably lower haul caused by the rainy season, they expect the price of seafood to rise. They are being forced to keep nearer to the shoreline due to heavy winds, and this diminishes the catch.
The rainy season has also reduced the vegetable harvest, and this is expected to result in an increase in vegetable prices, according to a report in The Straits Times.
The report quoted Jeanne Khor, secretary of the 300-strong Pantai Remis Fishermen Association, as saying the rainy season could cut the fishermen’s catch by 50 to 60%.
She was quoted as saying that the price of mackerel could rise between RM5 and RM10 a kilogram, and sardines from RM4 to RM7.
Kuala Sepetang Fishermen Co-operative representative Bee Liang Chai was quoted as saying that it had been training heavily in the last two months.
“Even though there is less rain now, the catch has decreased compared with previous years,” Bee added.
Azli Mohd Aziz, president of the South Johor Fishermen Association told the ST that middlemen were to blame for the sharp increase in fish prices during the monsoon season.
The report quoted Cameron Highlands Malay Farmers Association chairman Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Abdul Rashid as saying he expected a 20 to 25% drop in the harvest of vegetables during the rainy season.
In addition, rain could cause vegetables to be affected by fungal growth or bacterial diseases.
He told the ST that tomatoes were expected to cost RM4 per kg from RM3, while cabbage would go up from RM1.20 to RM2 per kg.
However, the report said, the prices of fish and vegetables in Singapore were unlikely to be affected by the monsoon.
A spokesman for the Singapore Fish Merchants’ General Association said: “The market demand (for fish) in Singapore is not very high, so usually the prices will not be impacted.”
Tay Khiam Back, chairman of the Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association, said prices were unlikely to be affected for the moment as there was no change in the supply volume.
Heavy rains inundate Malaysia from November to January, often flooding the eastern and northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. They are often accompanied by strong winds at sea.
Several states, such as Penang, Perak and Kedah, were recently hit by floods, causing deaths and millions of ringgit in damage.