Did price of brown rice really increase drastically? Think again.

Did price of brown rice really increase drastically? Think again.

red brown rice

A reader-contributed article reported yesterday that there has been an unreasonable increase in the price of brown rice in NTUC Fairprice of nearly 50%, causing much uproar in the community. Reason for such a significant price increment was known to be caused by market forces- a fluctuation in demand and supply will naturally lead to price changes. As our society has been progressively emphasizing on a healthy lifestyle and diet, the demand for the healthier option of brown rice over white rice has risen. At the same time, there is a dip in supply of brown rice from Thailand thus causing the price of brown rice to increase about 47%.

red brown rice

What was wrong, however, is that the comparison made was unjust. That is because the price of $8.95 was not for brown rice but red unpolished rice- a totally different type of rice from the commonly consumed brown rice. Fairprice is still selling brown unpolished rice from Thailand at a competitive price of roughly 6% cheaper than other major supermarkets. Fairprice would also hold offers for their housebrand brown rice from time to time, allowing the healthier rice option to be made more affordable for the consumers.

Some of you may have remembered a previous article reporting about price freezing of 100 Fairprice housebrand items. Red unpolished rice is not one of them as it is not a popular product among the average households in Singapore, hence unable to be considered as a household essential. The price freeze applies to rice products such as FairPrice Jasmine Fragrant Rice and FairPrice Golden Royal Dragon White Fragrant Rice.

We all need to understand that prices of goods do not increase as and when the seller decides they want to earn more money. For those of you who do not study economics, let me share some fundamental knowledge about goods and prices with you. More often than not, market factors like weather conditions, demand and supply, and socio-economic conditions are the reasons for price changes. Despite the price increment in Fairprice red unpolished rice, it is across the board that products of similar grade sold in Singapore have increased too, and in fact are more expensive.

So next time, before complaining that the prices are inflating crazily, check if you are making a just comparison first ah.


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