Monday, November 09, 2009

Durian & Economics.....

Now is musim buah. In fact it has been musim buah for the last couple of months. By all accounts, this musim buah has been an excellent one. Fruits aplenty. Juicy delicious ones. Just look at durian. All sorts of durian especially durian kuning everywhere. “Bejurit” here and there. A friend who went all the way to Lamunin area to hunt for durian kuning even remarked there were too many durians, too many until it is the first time in his life he had to turn away the durians.

By supply and demand law, as the durian is so many, the price should be lower. It was and is still low. But it was even lower after the first and second week of hari raya. It remained so low until the last Sunday of October. Then it went up suddenly, some places by as much as 50%, almost. The supply was there, the eager people wanting to eat those lovely durians were there. What was lacking was the purchasing power. With almost a quarter of the over 180,000 workforce in Brunei in the Government service, that is a significant number of the population having their early payday before Hari Raya. By Hari Raya, almost, if not all of the income was spent or committed to the Hari Raya preparation. Not much left for the durians. With less purchasing power, durian aplenty, less buyers, the prices dropped just like the stock market prices on a bad bad day. Bear Market indeed for the durians.

Came Government Pay Day on Monday 24 October, not surprisingly, the price jumped up. Bull Market for the durians. Excellent example of supply and demand at work.

Do we as a nation overspent unnecessarily during Hari Raya? Do we as a country lives from pay cheque to another pay cheque? The answer may be obvious but as in many things, we may need a consultant to do a study and tell us. Why waste money on looking for obvious answers? Isn’t it better to focus on what to do about it?

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