Mandarin orange wholesalers halve orders

Still in demand: People buying boxes of oranges at Sin Lee Fruits in Ipoh for Chinese New Year. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

IPOH: Mandarin orange wholesalers here have cut down on their stock this Chinese New Year due to the movement control order.

Despite this, the fruit – which is a must during the festive season – is still selling fast.

Sin Lee Fruits owner Alice Tan said she normally ordered 10 containers of the fruit from China in previous years but this time, she only took five containers.

“One container has about 6,000 fruits but because of the restrictions and the low-key celebrations this year, I did not order more.

“The fruits that arrived a few weeks back are selling fast as well, and I had to take an additional three lorries filled with the oranges from another wholesaler in Kuala Lumpur, ” she said at her shop here yesterday.

Tan added that many customers were fruit shop traders. There were also regulars who came to buy boxes of oranges to give to firms, family and friends.

“Given that many are unable to travel to other states because of the MCO, some of them have decided to buy boxes of the orange to courier them to their associates or loved ones living far away.

“Since the arrival of my stock, the orange boxes have been selling really well, and I am sure the remaining boxes will be sold in the next few days, ” she said.

Another wholesaler, who only wished to be known as Mandy, said she had cut her stock to half when she ordered the mandarin oranges from China.

“I wasn’t sure of the demand, seeing that Covid-19 cases were on the rise and MCO was re-imposed.

“So I just kept my stock based on the orders made by my regular customers, and nothing more, ” she said.

Customer Leong Chee Kong, 60, said he ordered 32 boxes of mandarin oranges this year, almost half of what he would get in previous years.

The Perak Ku Kong Chow association secretary said the boxes this year were meant for committee members only.

“All these years, we have been ordering more boxes for Chinese New Year events and gatherings.

“But because events as well as lion and dragon dance activities are all not allowed this year, we have cut our orders to half, ” he said.

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