Wholesale market closure not causing price hike elsewhere

Market-goers shopping for groceries at the Bayan Baru Market in Penang. – LIM BENG TATT/The Star

THERE is an old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.

With the Pulau Mutiara wholesale market in Gat Lebuh Macallum still closed until further notice, there is still ample supply of vegetables and fruits as market traders on Penang island have been getting their supplies from different sources.

There is also no price hike despite the closure of the wholesale market, which is the central one for Penang island that caters to about 70% of the fruits and vegetable supply on the island.

At the Bayan Baru Market, grocery seller Rina Azlina Azhar, 40, said there was enough supplies for her customers as she had been getting her items from different wholesalers.

“I usually get groceries such as onion, potato, garlic and dried chillies from a wholesaler at the Pulau Mutiara wholesale market.

“I am lucky as my regular supplier at the market also has another outlet in George Town.

“But the stock I take from them has reduced by 20%,” said Rina Azlina.

She said there were a few suppliers from the mainland who had been sending her goods three times a week without extra charges.

“The price of my groceries remains the same,” she said.

Rina Azlina said she was worried when she got to know that the Macallum wholesale market would be closed.

“In the beginning, I was worried that I won’t have enough supplies.

“Luckily, my suppliers are understanding and they keep stock for us.

“Although the wholesale market has been closed for more than two weeks, there is not much impact on the people,” she said.

Vegetable trader Lee Lee Teng, 50, said there was sufficient vegetable supplies for the people.

“The price of vegetables will remain the same.

“Since the Macallum wholesale market is closed, the number of market-goers here has increased a little.

“The closure of the wholesale market did not affect me much as I get most of my supplies from Ipoh every day,” she said yesterday.

Lee, who is also a vegetable supplier, said her supplying business had increased by 50%.

“Besides selling vegetables, I also distribute some of my supplies to the local markets here.

“Many local traders have been getting their vegetables here since the Macallum wholesale market is shut,” she said, adding that she has been a vegetable seller for over 30 years.

The Pulau Mutiara wholesale market in Gat Lebuh Macallum has been closed since July 3 due to the detection of Covid-19 cases among the traders.

There have been 137 positive cases reported as of Wednesday.

There are 145 units in the wholesale market and more than 30 stalls at the wet market next to it.

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