THE demand for fresh fruits has increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic as people are consuming more to boost their immune system.
Koay Swee Aik, who is the managing director of a fruit import company, said supermarket and online delivery sales for fruits have increased significantly.
“Some of the more sought-after fruits now are apples, oranges, pears, grapes, kiwi fruits and blueberries. These fruits are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, ” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Koay said prices for certain fruits have also increased due to supply chain issues and currency exchange rates.
“Many countries are in lockdown, making it difficult for us to import fruits.
“The cost of post-harvest processing and packing has increased due to social distancing while the freight cost increase is attributed to the lesser availability of transport.
“However, we do have the supply to cater to the market if the MCO is extended, ” he said.
Meanwhile, fruit trader Chin Soon Ming, 50, said his fruit sales picked up a week after the MCO was announced.
“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, my fruit sales were slower.
“Many custo mers are looking for bananas now because of the health benefits.
“On good days, I get a 50kg increase in banana sales compared to before.
“Besides bananas, many of my customers are also buying oranges which are high in Vitamin C, ” he said when met at the Cecil Street Market.
However, Chin said the sales of certain fruits like mangoes have slowed down due to the bad economic situation.
“We used to sell several baskets of mangoes a day but now, it takes us more than a day to sell a basket of them.
“But overall, business improved for fruit traders after the outbreak.
“Our fruit prices remain the same and we have enough supplies, ” he said.
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