Vegetable prices soar as monsoon season arrives early

The rise in prices of some vegetables is due to the rainy season arriving a month early in Malaysia, affecting the harvest.
The rise in prices of some vegetables is due to the rainy season arriving a month early in Malaysia, affecting the harvest.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

The monsoon season has caused prices of some vegetables here to rise by 70 per cent and even triple for at least one type, according to importers of fruits and vegetables.

Chinese-language Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday that the harvest was affected by the rainy season that has arrived a month early in Malaysia.

The Penang Island Vegetable Wholesalers Association said prices of chives have doubled, while vegetable sellers in Chinatown Market and wholesaler Thygrace Marketing say Chinese cabbage prices rose from $2 to more than $3.

Water spinach went up to $3 or $4 from $2.50, and the prices of Japanese cucumber increased from 40 to 50 cents to $1.30 to $1.50.

According to a Malaysian report, Penang Island Vegetable Wholesalers Association chairman Tan Ban Ben said vegetable prices fluctuate due to the frequent rainy seasons.

Vegetable wholesalers do import produce from other countries, such as Thailand, Cambodia and China, to meet demand. However, this costs more as the produce is transported over greater distances.

Mr Vincent Lee, vice-president of the Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association, confirmed that the association has imported vegetables from Thailand and other countries.

Prices are expected to drop gradually as imported vegetables from other countries arrive.

The Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association said it will find alternative imports within one to two days, but told consumers to expect price increases in the short term.

In the meantime, Mr Lee recommended buying vegetables that are not affected by the price increase.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2019, with the headline 'Vegetable prices soar as monsoon season arrives early'. Print Edition | Subscribe