The prices of most herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) rose by 30 percent this year in Singapore.
Local herbs wholesalers contribute the price increase to the stronger Chinese currency and herbus supply shortages, local English daily the Straits Times reported on Tuesday.
The supply shortages are the result of major natural disasters which wiped out swathes of herbal plantations in China.
The prices of over 25 percent of herbal medicines have more than doubled in the second half of the year. For instance, the honeysuckle flower, or jinyinhua, which is used to relieve colds, costs as much as five times more than it did last year.
Herbs prices are likely to remain high because traders, hoping to profit from the rise, are hoarding the herbs. But outlets and clinics in Singapore are absorbing most of the costs to keep prices of these traditional products affordable for the public.
In Singapore, there are about 30 licensed TCM manufacturers, 170 importers and more than 800 retailers