THE Malaysian Frozen Food Pro-cessors Association (MFFPA) expects freight charges for shipping frozen food to Europe to increase substantially soon in view of the Iraqi conflict, according to its president Ch'ng Chin Hooi.
“We have been informed by our freight forwarders to expect an increase of US$300 for a container of frozen food, as our cargo has to pass the Suez Canal in the Middle East to reach Europe,” he said.
“Currently, the charge per container is US$1,800. The increase, we were told, has to do with the higher insurance on a container of frozen food,” Ch'ng said.
He said that about 70% of the exports of MFFPA members were to Europe.
Ch’ng said that an increase in freight charges would mean MFFPA members had to increase the selling price of their products in Europe.
“If the Suez Canal is closed due to the war, our cargo will have to go to Europe via Africa. There will also be an additional charge of US$300, as it is a longer route,” he said.
Penang Furniture Manufacturers and Dealers Association (PFMDA) president Yeoh Ee Wan, meanwhile, said that a prolonged war might prompt its members to increase the selling price of furniture.
“The price of our raw materials such as glue and resin, which are petroleum-based, had increased by some 20%, as a result of the rising price of fuel,” he said.
According to Yeoh, the PFMDA hassome 190 members, of which about 20% are engaged in export activities.