JOHOR BARU: There has been no reduction in prices of goods in the market despite oil prices having dropped significantly in the past few weeks.
Checks at the Larkin market and Pandan wholesale market found many traders were hopeful that the drop in petrol prices would result in cheaper produce as transportation was a significant factor in costs.
Mutton trader Faizal Shak Daud, 34, said that he expected to see a slight decrease in prices from his supplier, but this had yet to happen.
“Our supplier has not lowered the prices, maybe it will so so soon but I do not see it as a possibility right now.
“With Ramadan, I have seen an increase in sales, and if I can secure more mutton at lower prices, it will benefit everyone, ” he said, adding that he currently sells the meat of up to eight adult goats a day.
Vegetable seller Rufdi Abu Bakar, 50, who has been in the business for the past 24 years, also said he had yet to see his supplier drop prices.
“The price does fluctuate daily, but I have yet to see anything unusual such as a big drop in price.
“But at least the supply of vegetables is still stable which is a good thing during this difficult period, ” he said.
Oil prices globally have dropped drastically due to oversupply and lack of demand as many countries are in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Malaysia, Ron95 is currently retailing at RM1.25 per litre and diesel at RM1.40 per litre.
Johor Baru Small Business Association president Tony Tey Pian Hwang said that a reduction in price of produce would be rather slow to happen with demand being the determining factor.
“I would think that the electricity tariff in the country should drop if the price of oil keeps plummeting.
“Since the country generates energy mainly from coal and gas, maybe reducing the tariff will see a knock-on effect in the prices of everything else, ” he said.
Prices aside, consumers in Johor Baru are complaining of a shortage of certain items at their local markets, such as poultry and seafood.
Civil servant Azizi Aziz, 27, said the mini-mart he frequented in Permas Jaya runs out of dressed chicken very quickly, forcing him to go to the supermarkets.
“We are trying not to travel far during the movement control order (MCO), but with the local mini-markets in our area running out of chicken so quickly, we have no choice, ” he said, adding that the prices at supermarkets were also slightly more expensive.
For S. Sathia, 45, he said that due to the MCO he was unable to venture out of Kulai to buy his groceries and had to make do with the items available close to his housing area.
“The market in my area has very little selection, especially when it comes to seafood, and I do not want to go through the roadblocks just for my groceries.
“Currently I can only buy large Tiger prawns, as there are no regular-sized prawns available, but these prawns are not very affordable, ” he said, adding that for fish, only mackerels were on sale.
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