With Chinese New Year fast approaching, you’d expect the price of certain foods to go up.
Some favourites include oranges, mushrooms, and, of course, abalone.
In Chinese culture, consuming abalone or bao yu, is believed to usher in good fortune and abundance.
The problem with this is that the delicacy isn’t exactly cheap, and can take away that abundance before you even have it.
But what if I told you that abalone prices have dropped by up to 30% this year?
Reader: Well I already saw that in the headline so-
I bet you’d be pretty surprised, right? Well, it’s 100% true.
Reason for Abalone Promotions: Abalone Prices Have Dropped by Up to 30% This CNY
Abalone prices in Singapore have fallen by 5% to 30% during the Lunar New Year period, according to wholesalers.
The price of a 180g can of Yoshihama abalone from Japan, for instance, fell from $28 to $20 last week.
And the price of a 180g of Crown Brand abalone from China dropped from $21 last year to $13 last week.
So, what accounts for this dramatic fall in price?
Speaking to ST, wholesalers explained that this could be attributed to Singaporeans’ low spending power during the pandemic, as well as an oversupply of stock in China.
On the first point, it’s widely known that the pandemic has cost many residents their jobs, or a portion of their salaries.
And since abalone is viewed as a bit of a luxury for CNY celebrations, some families have chosen to go without it.
Others have reportedly purchased cheaper brands of abalone.
Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused shipping complications for exporting goods, resulting in an oversupply in abalone factories in China.
Whatever the reason, it’s certainly good news for hungry celebrants.
The fall in price explains why both Giant and Sheng Siong recently held promotions for abalone, selling them at ridiculously cheap prices.
Prices of Other Food Items On the Rise
It is 2021, however, which means one piece of good news is usually followed by a chunkier piece of bad news.
While the price of abalone has dropped, the cost of other foods items has gone up.
Vegetable prices at Sheng Siong have reportedly risen by 10 to 15% due to bad weather and higher freight costs, a spokesman said.
Moreover, vegetables like tang oh, wong bok, and spinach have increased by around 5 to 10% at Giant supermarkets too, due to unfavourable weather conditions in Malaysia and China.
While food is certainly an important part of CNY celebrations, doesn’t most of the joy come from being together with friends and family?
Reader: Actually I just visit relatives for the food
Of course you do.
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