The current unpredictable weather that often would focus on flash flood warnings now faces another alert which is the possibility of drastic price increases for vegetables.
Heavy rainfall and cold conditions will bring detrimental effects to crop yield. According to reports by The Star, Malaysian Wholesaler Vegetable Association president Steven Lee said that continuous rain has reduced supply by 20% to 30% in crop-producing areas such as Malacca, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, and markets in parts of Kuala Lumpur.
Whereas, Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers’ Association president Wong Keng Fatt said the prices of vegetables have started increasing recently by between 10% and 20% but would rise if there were floods. “The prices have increased this week, but it is not the real increase yet. It will be more expensive in the coming weeks if the downpours continue,” he said. “Also, if there are floods this month and next, then definitely the supply of vegetables will be affected, driving up the prices for Chinese New Year.”
Uncertain weather patterns have caused farmers to rely on greenhouses to grow their crops.
Usually this time of the year, the weather was predicted to be good and prices of vegetables were to see a drop as farmers will get better crop yield and supply rebalancing. Unfortunately, the weather is unpredictable and prices are likely to continue to rise.
In a statement on Tuesday (Sept 6), the Malaysian Meteorological Department (Met Malaysia) forecast that the rainy season would continue for the next few months. Also reporting that several states expect the rainy season to continue until February next year.
This is due to the annual northeast monsoon, which usually happens between October and March.
There is no firm timeline for how quickly we see prices return to normal. It heavily depends on climate change. Consumers are to reevaluate their budgets and become extra cautious of their spending.