Fomca: Food prices up by a fair bit

MALAYSIA - Food prices have increased by "a fair bit" following the hike of diesel and RON95 petrol prices, a survey by the Federation of Malaysian Consumers' Association (Fomca) showed.

For instance, the price of prepared wantan mee had gone up by 50 sen (S$0.19) to 60 sen, said Fomca president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason.

He added, however, that the fuel price hike had not led to any increase in controlled-price items.

"Our initial findings showed the rise in food prices is hefty.

"The percentage of the increase in prepared food prices is more than the percentage of the increase in diesel and petrol," he told reporters at the presentation of prizes of the 2013 Consumerism Contest in conjunction with the 2013 National Consumer Month yesterday.

Marimuthu said Fomca was still compiling data on the survey and would reveal more details next week.

The Government recently announced a 20sen reduction in the subsidy for diesel and RON95 petrol per litre, bringing the consumer price of diesel to RM2 and RON95 petrol to RM2.10 per litre since early this month.

"Eatery outlets need not increase the prices of prepared food as they are already making a profit," said Marimuthu, adding that the (fuel price) increase only translated to a negligible additional RM5.40 of petrol used per week.

"There is no reason for any increase because they (food outlet operators) can afford to absorb the cost.

"They are taking advantage of the fuel hike," he said.