THE lokam (mandarin oranges) for the coming Chinese New Year will be dearer by 10% to 15% owing to a shortage of supply from China.
Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd retail operations director Yee Kam Ming said production had decreased by 30% because of a smaller crop when compared with that of last year.
“The climate change and the lack of rain during the growing season had affected the crop this year.
“The domestic demand in China is also strong. Therefore, it has affected our supply of the lokam.
“However, the oranges are sweeter this year as they have fully ripened,” he said after overseeing the first batch of 5,500 lokam being unloaded at Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru yesterday.
Yee added that the price of a 4kg box of lokam would be between RM13.88 and RM18.88 depending on the size while the 6kg ones would be from RM23.88 to RM25.88 per box.
“We will bring in 15 containers from now until Chinese New Year.
“This year, most of them are the small and medium oranges,” he said.
The mall is also bringing in the Teochew kam (Teochew mandarin oranges) at the end of the month.
He said that the redevelopment of some of the Teochew kam plantations into tourism or industrial zones had also decreased the production of this variant.
“It is also more expensive by 10% to 15% per crate.”
A crate of 56 lokam (bigger ones) is priced at RM52.90 while the 72-orange crate (smaller ones) is RM50.90.