Fish prices up due to bad weather and CNY

PETALING JAYA: Fish prices are likely to increase due to supply shortage as the uncertain weather conditions continue, say traders and fishermen.

Sungai Besar Haisan Fishermen Association chairman Sia Chock Sung said the rainy season in December and January usually drives up prices by between 10% and 20%.

“During these months, fishermen catch less fish as compared to May to June when the weather is hotter.

“The temperature of the sea water has an impact on fishes too,” he said.

As Chinese New Year approaches, he said, the demand for prawns, threadfin and pomfret will be higher, boosting prices further.

“The prices could be up 25% to 30%. Usually the prices go upwards a month before the Chinese New Year,” Sia said.

He said bad weather on Jan 4 and Jan 5 prevented fishermen from going out to sea.

“But the fish boats went out to sea on Sunday, so supply should be normal again,” he said.

Another fish trader, who declined to be identified, said fish supply was impacted by prolonged bad weather last year.

“It all depends on the weather. Last year, the rainy season stretched until March. But usually the price hike is only temporary,” he said.

He said the wholesale price of mackerel (ikan kembung) reached RM16 to RM18 per kg recently, compared to the usual RM12 to RM14.

He said the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) can also take steps to restrict exports if the price hike is tremendous.

It was reported that the LKIM has assured that prices of marine products, especially fish, will not increase despite the current uncertain weather conditions.

Its chairman Muhammad Faiz Fadzil said the LKIM had made early preparation to ensure sufficient supply of fish stocks.

He said the government had also taken steps to restrict exports of fish abroad to ensure adequate supply for the local market.

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