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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

It's time to indulge in bird's nest soup

Prices for bird's nest have fallen from over $4,000 per kg to slightly over $1,000 this year.
January 23, 2013
By: Benita Aw Yeong
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It's time to indulge in bird's nest soup

While fish maw is becoming more costly, shark's fin prices are expected to remain stable, with demand on the downturn.

Also cheaper: Bird's nest.

The anti-finning movement and campaign, which is against the practice of hacking off the shark's fin and throwing the animal back into the sea, has hit sales in Singapore.

"We have seen a decrease in demand for shark's fin because it is commonly thought that we get our shark fins in Singapore through finning," said Mr Yio from Chin Guan Hong.

The shark's fin that the company trades in comes neither from fishermen who practise the slash-and-throw method nor from those who hunt endangered species, he claimed.

This year is also one of the best periods to indulge in bird's nest soup, said Mr Koh Ming Chee, a shareholder at Chip Chiang, which supplies Chinese delicacies.

About one to two years ago, bird's nest prices were at a high of about $4,000 per kg, he estimated.

These days, they have fallen to slightly over $1,000 for the same quantity, mainly because of a ban China imposed on bird's nest imports from Malaysia since July 2011, after allegedly discovering that the product contained nitrate.

"Although most of Singapore's bird's nest comes from Indonesia, the ban has meant an overall surplus in stock, which has caused prices to dip," explained Ms Tee.

Consumers TNP spoke to did not seem to mind the steeper prices for most delicacies, with most stating that it would be money well spent as Chinese New Year rolls around only once a year.

"I'll still buy fish maw and abalone, but maybe I will buy less," said Madam Peggy Ng, a 52-year-old human resources manager.

Polytechnic lecturer Leenah Khoo, who gets her stock of abalone from supermarket chain Sheng Siong, agreed: "The prices change frequently, so I'm always on the lookout for when it's a good time to buy. It's Chinese New Year, and it's for my family, so an increase in price won't deter me."

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