Prices of certain fish to remain high until a month after CNY, say market traders

JOHOR BARU: The price of certain types of fish such as siakap (sea bass) and bawal putih (white pomfret) is expected to increase until a month after the Chinese New Year celebration.

According to fishmonger Rudi Zulkarnain, the increase would also affect ikan merah (red grouper) and kerapu (grouper) prices starting this week.

"Last week the price for siakap was RM13.50 per kg, this week it has gone up to RM18. This trend will likely continue for at least a month after CNY.

"This is an annual occurrence during every CNY but the increase only affects certain types of fish, the rest remains the same," said Rudi, 33, when met at his stall in Pasar Borong Pandan here on Thursday (Jan 27).

He added that similarly, chicken and beef were expected to cost more during Hari Raya Aildilfitri.

A check by The Star to the wholesale market found it bustling, with stall owners busy promoting their wares.

"The market will be closed for CNY on Saturday (Jan 29), so sellers are using this chance to sell their stocks before the festive break," added Rudi.

Meanwhile, another fishmonger, Andrew Ng, 22, said the price of prawns had also increased by about RM2, though it depended on the size.

"The price of farmed prawns has increased this week and will likely continue (to go up) not only due to the CNY celebration but also the weather conditions," he said, adding that he received his stock from Melaka and Batu Pahat.

According to poultry seller Noor Inham Abdullah, 26, the ceiling price of chicken also increased from RM8 per kg last week to RM8.40 this week.

"This is the price we get from the factory, so the market price is about RM9.40 per kg.

"Chicken stock is very limited. Last week, we could get around 400 chickens per day, but this week we could only get 200 birds from our supplier," he said, adding that he had been dealing with customer complaints all week.

Vegetable seller Sayed Abdullah, 37, said stocks of tomatoes, white carrots, cabbage, baby eggplant and long beans had dwindled.

"The majority of our stock is from Cameron Highlands, and for the past week, the supply has been declining due to overwhelming demand.

"But only these types of vegetables are affected," he said, adding that prices increased by around RM4 per kg on average.

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