Cheaper than before: Customers choosing shallots, onions and garlic at the Taman Johor Jaya market.
JOHOR BARU: Prices of red chillies and fresh prawns have doubled over the past few days with sellers blaming limited stock and bad weather as reasons for the increase.
Checks by The Star at several markets here found that red chillies were RM22 per kg, up from RM12 last month.
Vegetable seller Lee Soon Cheng, 45, said that there had been limited supply of red chillies over the last few days, which caused the price to skyrocket.
“Even my supplier could not meet my demand. I have to buy from a wholesale market,” he said.
Fresh prawns, at RM40 per kg, have caused many consumers to feel a very painful pinch in their pockets.
Fish seller Tan Chong Lin, 39, said that fishermen now hardly go out to sea, as the weather was bad and the waters rough.
“Many of my customers complain and they just either stop buying the prawns or buy in small amounts due to the price,” adding that black pomfret (ikan bawal hitam) costs RM38 per kg.
The prices of Chinese New Year essentials like dried oysters and lap cheong (Chinese sausages) have also gone up during the festive period.
The price of dried oysters has gone up by RM1 to RM10 per 100g; and RM90 per kg for small-sized ones and RM110 per kg for bigger ones.
Provision shop operator Yeap Chin Jeng of Taman Puteri Wangsa said that the price of locally-made lap cheong maintained at RM22 per kg; but Hong Kong imported ones have increased by RM5 to RM48 per kg.
However, prices of goods like shallots, onions and garlic have gone down between RM1 and RM3 since the beginning of the month.
Sundry shop owner at the Taman Johor Jaya market Tan Sim Huey, 55, said that shallots are now RM33 from RM35 per kg; while garlic and onions have dropped by RM1 to RM11 and RM4 per kg respectively since early January.
She added that the price of anchovies and dried shrimps have gone up to RM2.80 from RM2.20; and RM8 from RM6.50 per 100g respectively.
A pork seller who only wanted to be known as Lam, said that the price of pork has also gone up by almost 10%.
“Pork ribs are now RM23 per kg; pork trotter is RM15 per kg and pork belly costs RM20 per kg,” he said, adding that it was normal to increase the price of the meat because of the rising cost of pig feed such as corn and barley.