No choice but to mark up vegetable prices, says traders

15 Feb 2023 08:07am

SHAH ALAM - Its nearly three weeks post-Chinese New Year (CNY) but vegetable prices that shot up during the festivities remains unchanged especially the luscious tomatoes.

Checks by Sinar Daily yesterday saw traders express their discontent with the current conditions, forcing them the increase the price tags for the green goods.

They noted that this was mainly due to the continuous increase of vegetable’s wholesale prices.

Local trader at the Pasar Moden Sri Muda in Klang, who only wanted to be known as Shanti, said her supplier hiked up prices due to rain and less production.

"It was worst during CNY since most of the traders here only saw RM0.50 minimum profit because the tomatoes were sold at RM11 per kg back then.

"Now the price has reduced a little with RM8 or RM9 per kg, however the price is still high.

"I'm just curious on which party is increasing the price. Is it the wholesale market (Selayang market), Cameron Highland or any middlemen?” said the 43-year old.

Another vegetable trader from the same market named Suguna expressed her disappointment of not only suffering losses but unable to serve her customers as could not afford some of the vegetables.

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“We (traders) had a bad time during CNY, we had no choice because the business had to go on," she said.

 Its almost three weeks after Chinese New Year (CNY) 2023 yet the vegetable prices remains the same, especially tomatoes
Its almost three weeks after Chinese New Year (CNY) 2023 yet the vegetable prices remains the same, especially tomatoes

The 48-year-old also pointed out unripe tomatoes that was sold to the traders at RM10.50 per kg.

Suguna, who runs her family’s 32-year old business, urged the government to address the matter immediately as it affected the B40 group.

“Most of my customers are not wealthy enough, it’s sad to see them having to cut cost and buying limited vegetables to feed their home.

"The government or related associations need to look into this issue, reduce the price and identify the reason of increased prices in vegetables," she said.

Checks at the morning market in Pasar Moden Sri Muda in Klang showed that the prices of some vegetables had increased for the past month including vegetables such as tomatoes, lady's fingers and eggplant.

A trader who only wanted to be known as Susan said the tomato prices increased from from RM4 to RM10 per kg and lady's fingers from RM6 to RM15.

"I can understand our customer's frustration, we left with no choice but to mark up the vegetable prices,” she said.

Meanwhile, a 60-year old customer by the name Gangadaran said he had always opted to purchase vegetables from the market as it was much cheaper compared to the supermarkets.

However, he said the prices were already similar.

"It cost me a minimum of RM2O to cook a simple meal but tomato prices are throat-cutting,” he said.

Meanwhile, 45-year old Kwan Yu Yi said she had to limit her purchases especially during CNY due to the hike in vegetable prices.

“We had to limit the items otherwise we would exceed our budget.

"I really hope this does not continue during the upcoming festive season.

"The traders should be prepared if there are shortage of item and the government must monitor the prices," she said.

Avid shopper 55-year old Fatihah Zamri said vegetable prices were changing rapidly day by day.

"At least some of us can afford it, how about other who can’t?” she asked.

Fatihah urged the government to do spot checks and monitor the prices frequently as it continued to soar without any practical solutions.

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