F&B Associations: Food Prices May Soon Increase By 25% To 40%
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(Image: Malay Mail/Shafwan Zaidon)

Several food and beverage (F&B) operator associations have said that food prices may go up from 1 July, with some noting that the increase could be as high as 40%. This is due to various factors, including the removal of subsidies for bottled cooking oil, increased ceiling prices for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as rising inflation.

The vice president of the Kuala Lumpur Bumiputra Traders and Hawkers Association, Datuk Muhammad Baba Kutty said that he expects food prices sold by hawkers to rise between 25% to 40%. He highlighted that food sellers had already felt the pinch when their suppliers hiked prices during previous movement control orders (MCOs).

“At the end of the day, the public will suffer because the prices of food have increased. When the hawkers buy (ingredients) at a high price, of course, they will sell the (meal) for a higher price,” Datuk Muhammad Baba remarked, adding that hawkers may also opt to reduce the size of food portions as an alternative. 

Eatery (Image by Malay Mail, Yusof Mat Isa)
(Image: Malay Mail/Yusof Mat Isa)

Meanwhile, Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president, Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan noted that food prices have already increased slightly, with further increases expected this month. He also said that he had requested for Presma members to maintain the old food prices, but they are unable to do so as overhead costs have also shot up. 

“Normally, the price of certain raw materials will only increase once or twice every year. But this time, it is unusual. Flour, condensed and evaporated milk, Milo and Nescafe prices, have increased three times. Not to mention chicken price also increased many times,” Datuk Jawahar Ali further said, adding that Presma members will try to keep the increase to RM0.10 or RM0.20. 

Additionally, the Presma president urged the government to continue subsidising essential items. This is as the people are still recovering from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

(Image: The Star/Chan Boon Kai)

Similarly, Restaurant and Bistro Owners Association vice-president, Jeremy Lim said that the public can expect higher food prices as operators are struggling with the rising costs. “Over the course of the past 27 months, prices of raw material, transportation and logistics have been increasing significantly,” he explained. 

That said, Lim also emphasised that different business operators may take different approaches in managing the rising costs, adding that not everyone will increase prices from 1 July. Businesses that do choose to pass on the cost will struggle with their own set of pressures. “We are also fearful that we might price ourselves out of the market. At the same time, for some businesses, if they don’t increase prices, they may be loss-making,” he stated.

Earlier last week, the government had announced that it will remove the ceiling prices for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as discontinue the subsidies for bottled cooking oil from 1 July 2022. However, the decision to remove the ceiling prices for chicken and chicken eggs was then reversed two days later, with the new ceiling price for standard chicken set at RM9.40 per kg. Meanwhile, the new ceiling prices for chicken eggs are fixed at RM0.45 (Grade A), RM0.43 (Grade B), and RM0.41 (Grade C) per egg. 

(Source: The Star)

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