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Supply of vegetables from M'sia for Chinese New Year under threat

By Wong Mun Wai, Channel NewsAsia
19 January 2007

SINGAPORE: Expect to pay more for your greens over the next few weeks.

Wholesalers say the supply of vegetables from flood-hit Johor for Chinese New Year is under threat – forcing prices to remain high.

The Johor floods have forced local wholesalers to bring in more supplies from China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

And because the growing and supplying of vegetables from Malaysia takes time, the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market Association says supplies will not return to normal until the second or third week of February, around the Chinese New Year period.

The wholesalers at Pasir Panjang market buy many different types of vegetables from many different countries.

With the supply of vegetables from Malaysia like kangkong, chye sim and bittergourd going down by at least 50 percent, these wholesalers have had to import more vegetables from other countries.

The wholesale market association says flying in the supplies has incurred higher transportation costs which buyers, like stallholders, have to absorb.

It says about 60 to 70 percent of what they sell have to be flown in.

This results in prices remaining high. For example, a kilogramme of kangkong, which normally costs S$1, now costs S$3.

Supermarket chain Cold Storage says it is not increasing its prices of leafy vegetables.

Fairprice says it has increased supply from other countries and will continue to hold prices for as long as it can, although it has had to increase the price of bittergourd since Thursday by about 5 percent. – CNA/so