Prices of vegetables, fruits to remain stable

National 1 minute, 51 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SEVERAL local vendors have given their assurance that citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam can expect continued stable prices despite speculations that rising prices of fruits and vegetables imported from Malaysia may affect merchants in the sultanate.

A representative from one of Brunei's larger supermarkets confirmed that a majority of its more popular varieties come from local farms, while other types, such as cauliflower and broccoli, are usually imported from neighbouring Kota Kinabalu and Singapore.

The source, who wished to remained anonymous, was aware of recent hikes in the prices of food items and various other commodities.

However, he was optimistic that prices for vegetables and fruits sold in Brunei Darussalam specifically will continue to be stable for the time being and in the near future.

If an unexpected and significant rise does occur, he reassured that the store will keep as low a price as possible, within a reasonable range given its profit margin, to keep its customers happy.

He reasoned that if prices do rise, only those who buy in bulk will be notably affected, as the change in prices would be slight and would have almost negligible consequences, especially if imports were from Malaysia.

He commented that prices are also affected by the market and everybody else's prices and suggested that a rise in prices would happen if it is the case generally all over the country.

A smaller player in the market, a representative from DeRimba Department Store told The Brunei Times that he does not foresee any changes in prices as the store also gets its stocks of vegetables and fruits wholesale locally.

Also a watcher of the market prices, he noticed that the main factor in any significant price jump would be availability of produce, despite hikes which he observed are mainly due to rising world oil prices.

A wholesaler said that with higher costs of shipping due to fuel prices will result in higher costs of importing produce. Ultimately, as wholesalers, they would have no choice but to raise prices to their buyers. It is not something that he personally would like to impose but he added that the sometimes narrow profit margin plays a role in such decisions.

The Brunei Times