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11 November 2009

Traders say they have no choice but to raise prices of vegetables

Traders say they have no choice but to raise prices of vegetables

PETALING JAYA: Consumers should not be quick to blame traders for the rise in vegetable prices, says the Pudu Traders and Hawkers Association.

Association president Jeff Tan said traders had no choice but to raise prices depending on the prices set by wholesalers.

“Traders have to set the price for red chillis at RM12 to RM13 per kilo now because we bought them at RM11 per kilo.



Hiked up: Seller G. Chandrasekaran adjusting the new price sign for tomatoes at his stall in Jalan Othman wet market in Petaling Jaya yesterday. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN / The Star.

“We need to make a living too,” he told The Star yesterday.

Asked whether the rainy spell was the main cause for the increase in prices, he said: “It wasn’t a major factor.”

Denying that the price increase was “fixed” by sellers, Tan said wholesalers could import vegetables from China and Thailand during the rainy season.

“What I see now is that wholesalers are not importing enough so that they can raise the price,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Whole­salers Association president Soo Cheng Kee disagreed that wholesalers were not doing enough to keep prices down.

“How can we import more when there is nothing much to import?

“The volume of imported vegetables from Thailand has dropped due to bad weather and flood in the country,” he said.

On Monday, Soo reportedly said that vegetable prices in Kuala Lum-pur have gone up by 100% in some areas because of a supply shortage caused by the rainy season.

In GEORGE TOWN, vegetable prices have gone up between 25% and 100% although the weather is fine in Penang.

Vegetable seller Abdul Mutalib Pitchay, 51, who trades at the Bayan Baru wet market, said he had no choice but to push up the price of red chillies from RM10 to RM12 per kilo the past one week.

Other greens experiencing price increase include tomatoes (from RM2 to RM3,80 per kilo), broccoli (RM7 to RM9), lemons (RM5 to RM8), cucumber (RM1.80 to RM2.50), french beans (RM6 to RM8) and asparagus (RM10 to RM15).

“We have no choice but to raise the prices as our profit margin has been affected. We used to get an average of 25% discount from our dealers, now we have to pay more,” he said.

TheStar


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