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NEWS UPDATES 12 August 2010

Garlic price hike in Malaysia

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MALAYSIAN housewives will now have to pay almost RM10 (S$4.28) for a kg of garlic due to limited supply as a result of the floods in China.

Some higher grade garlic even cost more than RM10. The price also varies according to location. The wholesale price for garlic, which used to be between RM3 and RM3.50 per kg, has shot up to RM8.50 per kg.

The condiment that is known for its health benefits and potency to ward off vampires can't seem to fight off the forces of nature as the price increase is due to the floods in China.

Malaysia Foodstuff Import and Export Association president Datuk Chuah Poh Khiong explained that the shortage of garlic was caused by China's massive floods, particularly in garlic producing areas like Henan and Shandong.

'Malaysia imports 100 per cent of its garlic from China,' he told The Star. China is the world's top producer of garlic, accounting for about 77 per cent of global production.

Other garlic producers include India, South Korea, Egypt, Russia, United States, Spain, Argentina, Myanmar and Ukraine.

Mr. Chuah said many countries, including garlic producers, were competing with each other to buy garlic from China since April. Most of them are now raising a stink over the price increase.

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