An increased reliance on banana imports in Malaysia has driven market prices up by 30 per cent, according to a report from Malay Mail.
The report suggests consumers in Kuala Lumpur are currently paying between RM4 and RM4.50 per kg for the popular pisang abu variety, up from RM3 per kg earlier this year.
The price movement comes as wholesalers are forced to turn to imports from Indonesia and the Philippines, after drought and a prolonged hot spell derailed local production earlier this year.
“The weather early this year had an impact on the harvest, resulting in an acute shortage,” a fruit seller from Kuala Lumpur’s Chow Kit market told Malay Mail. “Our pisang abu is imported from Indonesia and priced at RM4 a kg, which is more expensive than those produced locally. Other banana varieties such as pisang raja and pisang berangan have also gone up in price from RM5 to RM6 a kg.”
The price pinch is also being felt in more remote parts of the country, with the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) revealing the price of pisang abu has risen from RM3.50 per kg to RM6 per kg at the Batu Lanchang market within the space of the last month.