Fresh fish prices in Singapore have been going up and look set to continue increasing in the next few months.
CNA reported that prices have been up 20 per cent in 2022, and will continue this trajectory till Chinese New Year 2023.
The reasons are varied, from seasonal trough, to climate change causing unpredictable catch, to overfishing, to high fuel costs.
What is clear though is that with the monsoon season kicking in, fishermen might not head out to fish, causing supply to shrink in the short-term in the midst of strong demand during the holiday season.
Average prices for fresh fish from Malaysia and Indonesia have risen by about 20 per cent so far this year.
Prices going up
It was reported that Spanish mackerel, known locally as batang and used in soup and porridge, has risen by S$5 per kg to between S$20 and S$25 now, CNA reported.
The Indonesian government recently reined in energy subsidies and hiked fuel prices by 30 per cent, resulting in Indonesian fishermen feeling the pinch and avoiding strong monsoon, so as not to waste diesel.
They end up getting less fish.
It was also reported that inflation is more obvious in more expensive fish, such as snapper, mackerel, cod and salmon, as the price difference is more substantial.
Salmon now costs between S$30 and S$40 per kg, which is about S$10 more expensive than before.
Cod costs almost S$50 per kg, when it was S$40 in the past.
Cheaper fishes like kembong, kuning, and seabass are affected less by price hikes.
Red snapper now costs around S$12 per kg, while Indian mackerel costs around S$7 per kg.
Suppliers are also passing cost of fuel increases to merchants by asking for 15 per cent to 20 per cent more in prices.
One way to cope with the rising cost is for suppliers to source for fish from other countries such as Thailand, India, and Myanmar.
Prices of fresh fish are expected to go up another 10 to 15 per cent over the next two months, an industry player told CNA.
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