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Food prices expected to rise further in coming months amid higher energy costs: Gan Kim Yong

Food prices expected to rise further in coming months amid higher energy costs: Gan Kim Yong

File photo of a man shopping in a supermarket. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: Food prices are expected to “rise further in the coming months” as energy prices are set to increase, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (Nov 3).

In a written answer to a question by MP Shawn Huang Wei Zhong (PAP-Jurong GRC) about the impact on food prices given supply chain disruption and increase in energy costs, Mr Gan said that energy prices contribute to the global cost of food.

He added that suppliers may need to adjust prices to reflect the cost increases.

“The cost of food is affected by a combination of factors, including the imported prices, energy costs, freight, labour, and seasonal weather changes,” he said.

Domestic food prices have risen in the past six months, mainly due to “increased prices for global food commodities, higher energy prices, supply chain bottlenecks and labour shortages”, said the minister.

Five electricity retailers have pulled out of the Singapore market over the past three weeks, citing volatile market conditions after a spike in wholesale energy prices.

Global supply chains have been under pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced manpower, delayed ships and caused bottlenecks at major ports worldwide.

Mr Gan said that the Government will assist families in Singapore in “various ways” to mitigate the impact of higher food prices.

“For example, the Ministry of Social and Family Development's social service offices provide ComCare assistance to low-income households to support their daily living expenses,” he said.

"The Budget 2020 Grocery Vouchers Scheme has also helped less well-off Singaporeans with their household expenses during this period of economic uncertainty."

Last month, about 160,000 eligible Singaporeans received S$100 worth of grocery vouchers.

“Singapore will continue to diversify our import sources to keep prices competitive and enhance supply resilience,” Mr Gan said.

Source: CNA/ng(mi)

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