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Written reply to PQ on food price inflation

Written reply to PQ on food price inflation

Question

Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the retail prices of pork, vegetables and other food items have been impacted by sharp increases in prices from our imported sources; (b) what are the reasons for the increases; and (c) how can such impact be mitigated for consumers.

Written reply (to be attributed to Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing)

1.      Food price inflation has been relatively stable in recent months. Overall non-cooked food prices rose by 1.3% on a year-on-year basis over the October to November period, slightly higher than the 1.0% increase in the third quarter of 2019. In terms of specific categories of food, the prices of chilled pork fell by 0.3% while the prices of vegetables rose by 2.3% over the same period. The increase in vegetable prices during this period could be due in part to weather-related disruptions in Malaysia, a key import source.

2.     Although weather-related and seasonal factors are not within our control, the Government helps to reduce the impact of such factors on food prices by diversifying our food supply sources. This includes working with industry to buy from different countries and building up local capacity where it makes economic sense. By buying from different sources, Singapore can reduce the impact of food supply shortages and price changes.

3.     The Government will also continue to work with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to promote consumer awareness and help consumers get better value for money. One of CASE’s latest projects is a mobile app, Price Kaki, to help consumers compare the prices of common household items such as groceries and cooked food, so that consumers can make more informed purchasing decisions. CASE started a pilot of the app in September 2019 and plans to roll it out nationwide in early 2020.
   


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