‘Get the best lokam this year’

GEORGE TOWN: Consumers can expect “the best mandarin oranges in 10 years” this Chinese New Year in terms of volume and fruit quality, say sellers.

The price of mandarin oranges or lokam will also be lower compared with last year due to the high yield.

Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd director Yee Kam Ming said the production of lokam has increased by 30% due to good growing conditions and a natural reversal of the drought suffered in the previous season.

“The last season was a short one but thankfully, growers experienced a bumper harvest this season. The growing conditions were ideal with enough rain and sunshine.

“The taste of lokam is also good, aromatic and flavourful, with a strong and firm texture this year, ” he said.

Yee added that medium-sized (M) lokam around 70mm to 75mm in diameter had the highest yield.

Festive fruits: Wong (in blue shirt) receiving his first shipment of mandarin oranges at Bayan Baru. — CHAN BOON KAI/The StarFestive fruits: Wong (in blue shirt) receiving his first shipment of mandarin oranges at Bayan Baru. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

“Overall, we have enough fruits of all sizes including small (S) at between 65mm to 70mm in diameter, large (L) ones at between 75mm and 80mm, and extra-large (XL) from 80mm to 85mm.

“Price-wise, it will be comparatively lower than last year, especially for the bigger ones. They are between 5% and 10% cheaper for S and M and between 10% and 20% cheaper for L and XL.

“We just received our first batch of lokam on Wednesday night and we will be having shipments every week until Chinese New Year, ” he said.

Yee said the supply of Teochew mandarin oranges from China’s Guangdong province is shrinking by the year as fewer people grow them there.

“The main market has shifted to lokam over the years.

“However, Teochew mandarin oranges are of good quality this year. The price will be about the same as last year, ” Yee said.

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