Malaysian mandarin sales weak

As previously reported here, mandarins are the most popular fruit during the Chinese New Year celebrations, but sales in Malaysia have so far been weak. This is attributed to the uncertain economic outlook and the reduced purchasing power of consumers.

Fruit seller Micheal Low in Kuantan, said his stall had seen shrunken sales this year as fewer customers including companies now bought in bulk to give away to their associates.

"We have foreseen this. As some of us pay in the US dollars when importing the oranges, we have decided to cut back on import.

"We only place fresh orders when our stocks are low but we still have a plentiful supply.

Since customers' response is slow, traders do not dare to bring in big supply as they might suffer losses," he said when met at his stall on Jalan Haji Ahmad yesterday, 2 February.

In the past, Low said traders imported container-loads of oranges from China weeks ahead of the festive season but this year many chose to have a "wait-and-see" approach.

Previously, he said traders could earn a profit of up to RM3 for every box of oranges but now it was less than RM1. 

He said some traders had constructed makeshift stalls near residential areas and busy roads to promote the fruits, and this had turned into a stiffer competition.

Customers are also asking for discounts for bulk purchases, or even a free box of oranges due to their tighter budgets, claimed another market Trader Ah Chai.

(1 Malaysian Ringgit equals 0.23 US Dollar)


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