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