Food prices might go up again, economist says after ringgit slump

Barjoyai Bardai says importers need to pay in US dollars.

(MalaysiaNow) – An economist has warned of a possible increase in import costs after the ringgit fell to its lowest level of RM4.71 against the US dollar last week.

Barjoyai Bardai said the development would affect food prices, citing the value of food imports which hit RM70 billion this year.

“The cost of imported goods will effectively become more expensive as importers raise their prices,” he said.

“This is because they need to pay for imports in US dollars.”

In July, the ringgit was the worst performing currency of the year in Southeast Asia.

It has continued its downward trend, due to several factors including an increase in US interest rates and weak trade with China, Malaysia’s largest trading partner.

Its previous low was recorded on Sept 19, when it slipped to 4.6890/6940 against the US dollar.

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