GEORGE TOWN: The price of large prawns has been skyrocketing over the past month due to poor catch and bad weather, and now people are claiming that it is costing as much as RM120 a kilo.
Demand for prawns has also spiked because of the coming Chinese New Year as people rush to stock up on the essential item for the dinner table during the festivities.
Fishmonger Lai Lee Yen, 42 said the price of large prawns in Penang had increased drastically because of the weather.
“Fishermen are going out less because of strong winds and those who do usually end up with a low catch,” she said.
She claimed that large prawns that used to cost RM60 a kilo are now selling at RM120.
“We expect the price to continue rising until the lunar new year.
“I believe large prawns will be selling at between RM150 and RM160 a kilo just before the celebrations. People are buying whatever they can now and stocking up,” she said yesterday.
Lai also expected fish prices to spike two weeks before CNY.
She claimed that the price of big groupers had already increased.
“The fish use to sell at RM26 per kilo but it’s now RM30 per kilo.
“Middlemen from neighbouring countries are also coming to buy our catch because they get a good bargain as our fish is cheaper due to the currency exchange rate,” she said.
Habib Najar Abdul Rashid, 56, who has been a fishmonger for 44 years, claimed that prawn sellers were currently stocking up so that they could sell their catch during CNY.
He said the price of pomfret fish would also rise.
“I expect pomfret to go up to over RM70 per kilo come CNY but the price of other fish may increase by RM1 per kilo at most.
“There will always be a price hike for fish that is in demand during celebrations,” he said.