Hawker food in Singapore is set to be more expensive as hawkers resort to raising prices to cope with inflation on their end, with costs of many raw ingredients already soaring.
Ubiquitous fare that are consumed by many, especially in the heartlands, will reflect the higher prices very soon -- or already have.
And it appears it is the foods that have traditionally been priced the cheapest that caters to the budget conscious that will see the largest increase in prices.
Chwee kueh much more expensive
According to CNA, one stall selling chwee kueh (steamed cake made mainly with flour and water) will sell four pieces of the traditional Teochew fare for 40 cents more as prices will go from S$1.20 to S$1.60 -- an increase of more than 33 per cent.
This is due to the hawker having to pay 22 per cent more for one tin of chye poh (preserved radish) as the supplier will sell it for S$158 from May 1, up from S$130 now.
The stall uses one tin a day easily.
This is on top of the price increase of basic ingredients, such as cooking oil, sugar, garlic and onions.
The hawker said it is the first time in 10 years that she is raising prices though.
At the current prices she is charging, she said she earns enough just to cover costs, which include utilities and the salaries of her two workers.
Soya bean drink up 14 to 16 per cent
Drinks that people buy to complement their meals have also seen prices creep up.
A glass of soya bean milk at a central hawker centre now costs 80 cents, up from 70 cents -- a 14 per cent increase.
A takeaway drink in a paper cup from the same stall now costs S$1.40, up from S$1.20 -- a 16 per cent increase.
The takeaway drink is costlier as it accounts for the additional beverage in the cup and the cost of the packaging.
Each carton of 1,000 paper cups increased by S$10 to S$20, it was reported.
Chicken rice up 16 per cent
A plate of chicken rice, the most common of common fare, was reported to cost S$3.50 now when it was S$3 just a few weeks earlier -- reflecting a 16 per cent increase.
The stall owner said the 50 cents increase is still nowhere enough to cover the increase in overall costs.
He claimed he is running the stall at a loss.
Cooking oil is from Ukraine
The price increase across the board ranges from 10 or 20 cents for drinks to up to S$1 for food, with seafood prices going up the highest, CNA reported an association representative for F&B merchants saying.
Many stalls in Singapore use cooking oil manufactured in Ukraine, it was also revealed, with a tin now costing about S$50, double what it cost about a year ago.
Top photo via Google Maps