Oranges to cost more as supply drops
Weather woes are hitting fruit prices. Be prepared to pay up to 15 per cent more for mandarin oranges this Chinese New Year.
Boxes of the swatow, lukan, ponkan and kinno varieties, weighing between 2kg and 8kg a box, cost between $10 and $30 each at FairPrice. Last Chinese New Year, they cost between $8.70 and $26.
Cold Storage had earlier said that Typhoon Megi, which hit Taiwan last September, and frost in China this month had caused a 20 per cent drop in supply of the fruit.
Barbecued meat draws early birds
Queues have already begun to form at popular bak kwa stores in Chinatown. The good news is that waiting times are not stretching over an hour. However, retailers warned that the wait times, along with prices, are set to rise soon.
A check by The Sunday Times over the past three days found that customers queued between 15 and 30 minutes. Those lining up said they were buying the barbecued pork slices early to beat the crowd.
Human resource manager Lois Teo made her annual trek to Lim Chee Guan's New Bridge Road outlet on Thursday to buy the snack for friends and family. "Now is the best time to buy because the queues are short and the quality is better," said the 42-year-old.
Goodies staying at a good price
Consumers looking forward to snacking on Chinese New Year goodies such as pineapple tarts, shrimp rolls and love letters will be relieved to know that most prices will remain the same as last year.
Although costs of raw materials and labour have increased, some retailers are absorbing the hike or have managed to buy butter and sugar in bulk at lower prices.
At The Pine Garden, a container of 30 pineapple tarts costs $27, the same as last year. "We constantly try to keep our prices competitive even though costs and operating costs have increased by 10 to 15 per cent," said Pine Garden.
Weather woes push up prices
Home cooks shopping for fresh produce at wet markets for their reunion dinners will find that goods have become pricier over the last few weeks.
Fresh fish prices, in particular, are significantly higher due to increased demand and stormy weather in Indonesia, which has kept supply low since last week.
Mr Lee Boon Cheow, president of the Singapore Fish Merchants' General Association, said that fewer fishermen go out to ply their trade in bad weather. He warned that prices may remain high even after the Chinese New Year festivities.
"Indonesia is a big supplier of fish used in Chinese New Year dishes such as pomfret, threadfin and grouper.
"But we expect that with the rains, every week is going to be like that," he said.
What's available this time
LOCAL TWIST ON FAVOURITE SNACKS
Bakeries here have added a local twist to some popular Chinese New Year snacks this year.
For example, Bakerzin has introduced fish floss pineapple tarts and lemongrass pineapple tarts.
The Pine Garden has seven new products this year, including salted egg shrimp cookies, cheese tapioca melts and osmanthus apricot honey butter cake.
Meanwhile, Kele has come up with jade pineapple balls which are pandan-flavoured with a hint of coconut.