GEORGE TOWN: Prices of lokam (mandarin oranges) are expected to increase between 20% and 60% compared to last year due to shortage of supply.
This year's fruit should be slightly smaller due to the lack of rain during the June to October growing season last year in Fujian province, China. Fujian is known as the hometown of lokam.
Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd retail operations manager Yee Kam Ming said the domestic demand in China had risen over the years and it was more prominent this year, thus the significantly reduced supply.
Most of the mandarin oranges were harvested in December last year.
Sunshine is expected to import some 90,000 cartons of the oranges from Fujian.
The Teochew kam (Teochew Mandarin oranges) is also expected in short supply after the region suffered from heavy rainfall which damaged most of the crop.
Consumers can expect a 70% increase in prices compared to last year due to the shortfall.
The Teochew kam is popular for its fragrance and for prayer offerings.