Vegetable, Seafood Prices Expected To Spike For CNY 2023
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(Image: Malay Mail/Shafwan Zaidon)

Malaysians will likely need to pay more for their vegetables and seafood in the upcoming Chinese New Year in January 2023, due to expected floods during the approaching monsoon season. Malaysia’s monsoon season is predicted to begin in mid-November 2022.

Farmers have warned that the supply of vegetables could be reduced by up to 15% as produce planted on the lowlands would be destroyed in floods. Meanwhile, the president of the Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers’ Association, Wong Keng Fatt said that supply may likely only return to normal in February.

“Any flood later this month and the next will definitely affect the supply of vegetables in January, and that in turn, will cause prices to skyrocket when the lunar new year demand kicks in,” said Wong. Wong’s sentiment is also shared by the president of the Federation of Vegetable Farmers Association of Malaysia, Lim Ser Kwee.

Aside from vegetables, the supply of fish, too, is expected to plummet and cause prices to increase during Chinese New Year in 2023. Chairman of Kuala Lumpur Hoi Seong Fish Wholesaler Association, Sing Kian Hock said that although the supply is currently adequate, seas will turn unpredictable or rough during the monsoon season, which will then cause most fishermen to avoid going out.

(Image: Bloomberg)

Sing further said that this situation could be made worse by seafood restaurants, as they would buy up selected catches – such as the highly coveted black pomfret – directly from the fishing boats via contract. “They are snapped up [by the restaurants] as soon as the boats dock,” he said, adding that this will add to its scarcity.

Chairman of the Deepsea Fishermen Association, Mohd Yusery Mohd Yusoff also urged customers to start stockpiling their favourite seafood for Chinese New Year now instead of waiting to buy them closer to the date. “The weather is unstable right now, so anyone wanting their favourite festive dishes should start stocking up now. Otherwise, tiger prawns that cost around RM60 to RM70 per kg now may go up to RM150 or more later,” he shared as an example.

The Chinese community will celebrate the Lunar New Year on 22 January 2023.

(Source: The Malaysian Insight, Yahoo Malaysia)

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