Chinese Herbs Seen Price Hikes

SINGAPORE : Prices of some Chinese herbs have shot up by some three times over the past six months, on the back of rising demand.

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners said concerns over H1N1 in China and poor harvest due to bad weather, have unexpectedly spurred domestic sales, resulting in a dip in export volume.

    Herbs like honeysuckle flowers were selling for about S$50 a kilogramme half a year ago. Today, you would have to fork out a whopping S$135 for them.

    The same goes for chrysanthemum flowers – they used to sell for S$8 for half a kilogramme. Now, the price is about twice that – at S$15.

    On average, prices for most herbs have gone up by about 20 per cent. But TCM practitioners said they are absorbing the costs for now.

    They said they are not raising their fees yet because they have stocked up on their processed herbal medications. Orders were made long before prices went up.

    The practitioners also advise customers not to purchase herbs in bulk because that will only push up prices and most herbs do not store well for long.

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