The price of grade one shallots from India has more than doubled in Sarawak to RM12 per kilogramme from the ceiling price of RM5.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s state enforcement director Rodin Mamat said this was due to a shortage of the commodity owing to bad weather in India and further compounded by the recent floods in Sarawak.
“We expect the shortage of the commodity and the price hike to be temporary in nature and the situation will return to normal after the Christmas celebration,” he said. He said bad weather in India had caused the import price of onion to increase from US$1,300 (RM4,355.78) per tonne early this month to US$1,660 (RM5,562) per tonne currently.
Rough seas had also slowed down the shipment of shallots to Penang and Kuching ports, damaging almost 20 per cent of the supply, he said.
He advised consumers to use big red onions from Holand and China to replace Indian shallots in their cooking. The Dutch red onion fetches RM2.60 per kg while shallots from China cost RM5 per kg and garlic costs RM3.20 per kg.
Rodin said the next consignment of 30 tonnes of Indian shallots, due to reach Kuching on Dec 27, would alleviate the shortage and stabilise the price. He said the ministry’s enforcement division would monitor the prices of 284 goods including flour, sugar and cooking oil (one kg) during the festive season to prevent price hike.
— Bernama BP. 25/12/07