PETALING JAYA, Jan 13 — Bigger, juicer and sweeter lokam (mandarin oranges) await those celebrating the coming Chinese New Year, with good weather helping harvests in the orange-producing parts of China near the end of 2017.
According to a report by The Star newspaper, wholesale trader Yee Kam Ming, who manages Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd, said the fruit imported from Jien O, Yongchun and Zhangzhou in Fujian province would be especially good.
“Less rainfall allows the trees to produce sweeter fruits,” he was quoted as saying.
“There are also more smaller-sized oranges this year as the lokam peaked quicker, with more than half being of the SS and S sizes. This and the higher domestic demand in China means the larger lokam will be costlier, between 10 and 20 per cent more,” he said further in the report.
However, Yee assured patrons that the increase would be marginal as it was the company’s way of celebrating with loyal customers.
The price of a 4kg box varies by the size of the fruit. A small-sized oranges would be sold at RM13.68 per box, which was cheaper than last year, while the medium-sized fruits stayed at the same price as last year, RM16.68 per box.
“Only the prices for the L and XL sizes have increased, which are RM20.88 and RM23.88, respectively, compared to RM18.88 and RM23 last year,” he told the newspaper.
Yee said there was no let-up in lokam arrivals and expected to receive container loads every week until February 12.
“We ordered 30 containers for sale and wholesale. That is the maximum we can hold due to the size of our storage space. But even these are usually sold out one week after Chinese New Year.
“We ordered it early as people start buying lokam three weeks before the celebration, usually for their employees or business partners,” he added.