PRICES of vegetables are expected to increase and the higher cost will likely remain until next month.
Many vegetable sellers interviewed at the Ipoh Central Market foresee that the prices would either go up or stay at its current level.
The prices of vegetables, especially the leafy ones, went up recently because the monsoon season affected the production and supply to markets all over the country.
A check on some of the vegetables sold at the market showed an increase of about 30%.
The price for lettuce has gone from RM6 to RM8 per kg while sawi or Chinese cabbage has increased from between RM3 and RM4 to RM5 per kg.
Chilli, which used to cost about RM13, is now RM17 per kg.
A seller who only wanted to be known as Choy said it was no surprise to see the prices of greens going up.
“Most of us get our vegetable supply from Cameron Highlands. If it rains heavily, production will be affected.
“Unless the weather changes for the better, we expect the prices to be expensive until Chinese New Year,” said the seller who is in her 60s.
“Even the imported vegetables from China are expensive because of the currency rate,” she told MetroPerak.
It was reported in The Star that recent rainfalls have caused a 20% to 30% drop in vegetable supply, especially the leafy ones such as sawi, bayam, kangkung and kailan.
The short supply has caused the prices to go up between 20% and 100%.
Another seller who wished to be known as Imah said the prices were also affected by transportation costs.
“Most of us get our vegetable supply from a wholesaler from the highlands.
“Everything is going up, including the costs for transportation.
“I do not think the prices will go down anytime soon. In fact, there is a probability of these prices going up further,” said the 45-year-old woman.
“Once the prices go up, it will be hard to come down,” she added.
Bean sprout seller Manap Jais, 45, said the price of the famed Ipoh produce has also gone up.
“The price is not affected by the rainfall. It costs more because the beans that growers use here are imported from Myanmar.
“Between 10 months and a year ago, 1kg of bean sprouts used to be only RM1. It is now RM2.50 per kg,” he said.
“The GST and unfavourable currency rate are the likely factors causing the hike. The bean sellers in Myanmar trade in US dollars,” he added.