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Vegetable Prices Have Increased Up To Threefold & Are Expected To Last Until CNY

Various associations have said the price hike is due to poor weather, which caused the supply shortage.

Cover image via Bernama via New Straits Times & Harian Metro (Facebook)

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The prices of vegetables have increased, and according to the Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers Association (KLWA), the northeast monsoon is to blame for it

Free Malaysia Today reported that the prices of cauliflower, beans, chillies, and several other vegetables have risen by about 200% over the last two weeks.

According to an infographic posted by Harian Metro today, 24 November, cauliflower has more than doubled in price from RM7/kg to RM16/kg, while the price of broccoli has increased from RM8/kg to RM20/kg.

Meanwhile, the price of bok choy — or sawi pendek — has seen the steepest increase, as it has tripled from RM3/kg to RM9/kg.

The price of cabbage has also increased by 33% from RM4/kg to RM6/kg.

Below is the full infographic:

Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, KLWA president Wong Keng Fatt said the monsoon has caused floods and landslides in Cameron Highlands and other vegetable-growing areas

The bad weather has affected crop growth, which led to the supply shortage while demand remains strong.

Wong also attributed the high prices to a lack of manpower in farms.

"The slow recovery of the economy is making it difficult to bring in workers from overseas," said the KLWA president.

He said distributors in Cameron Highlands, where much of the country's vegetables are grown, had told him about the problems they face, such as floods, landslides, and the shortage of manpower.

Photo for illustration purposes only.

Image via Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce

Meanwhile, Malaysia imports about two-thirds of its vegetable needs, said Cameron Highlands Vegetable Farmers Association president Chai Kok Lim.

Chai said the global border restriction caused by the pandemic has severed the supply chain.

"These prices are greatly influenced by the laws of supply and demand," he said, adding, "Vegetables like chillies are expensive because they are seasonal and depend on import factors."

Chai also said the increase in transportation cost also left distributors no choice but to raise prices.

It is believed that high vegetable prices are expected to stay until the Chinese New Year holidays are over

Yesterday, 23 November, the Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) urged the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) to take immediate steps to reduce the prices, reported New Straits Times.

In the English daily report, Penang KPDNHEP director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar explained that the price hike is due to the extreme cold weather in producing countries, as well as the increased cost of container transportation — all of which have reduced the supply of imported vegetables.

On Monday, 22 November, Sarawakian singer Alena Murang highlighted the huge hike in flight ticket prices from Kuala Lumpur to Sarawak:

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