June 3, 2022 9:30 AM
PETALING JAYA: Vendors at wet markets are lamenting that rising prices are causing their customers to reduce their spending.
Chicken seller Mahanom Husin, who has been operating at Pasar Seri Setia for close to 40 years, told FMT many of her customers were reducing their purchases by half.
“Prices are too high,” she said.
Chicken prices have been on the rise for more than three months.
Another chicken seller, Robaiyah Amir, said she had no choice but to increase prices, selling at RM11.50 per kg although the ceiling price set by the government is RM8.90.
She claimed that she still could not make a profit because of high operational costs.
Fish prices have also been rising.
According to seafood vendor Sathish Kumar, fish prices used to fluctuate within a specific range due to weather conditions but have doubled over the past few months.
“Cencaru, for example, used to sell at between RM10 and RM11 per kg, but has since risen to RM20 to RM22,” he said.
He said some of his customers had reduced their spending to less than half of the amount they used to spend.
Another trader, Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, said the vendors had also to contend with competition from hypermarkets, night markets and farmers’ markets.
He said this was unlike decades ago, when “you would come to the wet market any time you wanted to buy beef or chicken”.
Recently, the department of statistics said consumers would be paying more to fill their bellies after prices of 89% of all food items recorded increases in April.
Nor Hafizah Bahrin, a consumer who said she was in the M40 category, complained that she was feeling the pinch.
However, she said she would not substitute fresh chicken with canned food because it would be unhealthy.
“I don’t earn much, so people like me are in a tough spot,” she added.
Restaurant operator Ho Heng, who frequents the market at Seri Kembangan, said rises in the prices of chicken and vegetables did not burden him much because of the profits from his business.
“But the burden is huge for low-income families,” he said.