This was probably anticipated when the Malaysian government decided that they would cut subsidies, resulting in increased cost of operation for most businesses in Malaysia. Of course, the most logical thing for them to do is to pass the cost back to the consumers. In the case of Singapore, that’s quite a fair bit of things.

For a start, there’s an increase in egg and vegetable prices. I forsee more items being affected because Singapore basically imports every other thing (at least most other things) from Malaysia – fruits, vegetables, eggs (I thought we had our own chicken/egg farm?), chickens, pigs, water (thank goodness the water is piped in, but I’m sure they will link it back to increase the cost somehow), erm… what else did I miss?

So, while we are being hit by the increase in oil prices and inflation, our neighbours have no choice but to pass on the cost to us; and there’s nothing much we can do. Hmm… eat less eggs and vegetables?

SINGAPOREANS already battered by inflation faced another whammy this week.

The price of eggs and some vegetables has jumped at wet markets across the island, according to a Straits Times check.

This comes barely a week after Malaysia, Singapore’s biggest food supplier, trimmed domestic fuel subsidies.

The move has driven up transport costs for fresh food importers, who truck supplies like vegetable and poultry across the border.

Eggs from Malaysia now cost up to 10 per cent more, according to a survey of 14 stalls at three wet markets.

A carton of 10 large eggs from the Chinatown Complex, for example, now costs $1.80, up from $1.70 during the weekend.

Meanwhile, Malaysian transportation companies have informed importers, that they will charge up to 30 per cent more to haul leafy vegetables into Singapore.

Last Thursday, Malaysia cut back its fuel subsidies, which increased pump prices for petrol by 41 per cent and diesel by 63 per cent .

The increase has trickled down to wet markets here, which have already been forced to raise prices because of a supply crunch.

Mr Jimmy Kong, 35, who owns a vegetable stall in a wet market in Serangoon Gardens, said small-time sellers are the most vulnerable to price increases.

‘We are scared of prices going up. There is so much competition from supermarkets. They buy by the tonne, we buy by the box.’

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 11th June 2008



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