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Prices of Chinese New Year delicacies shoot up, will increase further

Some items already up 30%; suppliers expect to see further increases

Published on Jan 28, 2013 3:01 PM
 
Mainstay Chinese New Year delicacies such as fish maw on display at a stall in the Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

FAMILIES planning to entertain with must-have delicacies and goodies this Chinese New Year should start shopping now - or pay even higher prices later.

A Straits Times check with a dozen stores in Chinatown and Kallang has found that prices of abalone, fish maw, dried scallops, dried sea cucumber, pineapple tarts and mandarin oranges have already risen by up to 30 per cent, compared with the same pre-festival period last year.

The bad news: Importers and wholesalers said the prices of most of these items are likely to rise by at least another 10 per cent as the festive period draws closer. The first day of the Chinese New Year falls on Feb 10 this year.

At Sar Mooi Long, a dried goods store at Victoria Wholesale Centre, fish maw is going for $400 per kg, up from $300 last year. At neighbouring store Guan Say, 255g cans of abalone (drained weight) are priced at $158 each, up 30 per cent.

 
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Background story

BIGGER PRICE TAGS

Fish maw

Up to 30 per cent higher at some stores, due tooverfishing and increased transport costs

Abalone

Up to 30 per cent higher at some stores. Supplywas affected by rising sea temperaturesinAustralia. Prices also rose duetothe strongerAustralian dollar

Pineapple tarts

Up to 10 per cent higher at some shops, due tohigher cost of ingredients, labour and rent

Mandarin oranges

Up to 10 per cent higher for certain varieties.Supply was affected by bad weather

Dried scallops

Up to 10 per cent higher due to growing demand from China

Dried sea cucumber

Up to 5 per cent higher due to transportand manpower costs and growing demand.

Source: Victoria Street Wholesale Centre, Chinatown and supermarket chains

  • Prices vary greatly between retailers. Supermarket chains, for instance, were able to keep prices for most of these items unchanged from last year. This is because they cut out middle-men costs by importing directly from the source