June 13, 2011


Malaysia's fishermen strike affecting exports to Singapore



The three-day strike by some 500 fishermen in Malaysia, who are boycotting to protest the Malaysian government's decision to pull back fuel subsidies, is causing severe effects in Singapore.


Seafood imports that were exported from Malaysia to Singapore on Sunday (Jun 12) dropped by some 70%.


Fish merchants said that they were not able to buy in their usual quantities. "Supplies, like squid and small fish, have dropped by 90%," a merchant said.


"We usually buy 13-18 buckets, but today we bought half that quantity," said another.


The fish market at Singapore's Hong Kah Point saw retailers packing up by noon, with more than ten stalls reporting a fall in supplies.


Malaysia makes up about 20% of Singapore's seafood imports. Other sources include Indonesia, Thailand, and India. If suppliers turn to these countries, the spike in demand could see prices rise temporarily.


But these will be absorbed for the meantime, the Singapore Fish Merchants General Association said.

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