KOTA KINABALU: Mandarines, a staple fruit during the Chinese New Year, are 10 per cent more expensive this year.
According to Lo Siew Lin Sdn Bhd managing director Mr Lo, an importer and wholesaler of fruits along Jalan Tuaran, the reasons for the increase in the price for Mandarines were the stronger Renminbi and less supply from China, due to weather conditions.
Nonetheless, he said his company had started selling Mandarines from China.
The sale of Mandarines is quite slow at the moment, but Lo expects the sale to pick up in the last two weeks before Chinese New Year that will start on February 10.
Lo also said his company had imported Mandarines of sizes M to XL.
For an eight kilogramme box of Mandarines, the average wholesale price for M size is RM 24, L (RM 26) and XL (RM 30), Lo said.
Meanwhile, there are also Taiwanese Mandarines which Lo expects to arrive in two weeks.
“The price will be 50 per cent more expensive because Taiwanese Mandarines are of higher class.
“However, there are always buyers for Taiwanese Mandarines.”
Meanwhile, a survey at Radiant Asia Sdn Bhd in Foh Sang, found that the outlet has started selling Chinese sausages.
The Chinese sausages, imported from Peninsular Malaysia, ranges from RM 20 to RM 80 per kilogramme.
Mushrooms will be slightly more expensive this year, which is sold at RM 30 to RM 80 per kilogramme.
Meanwhile, the prices of other popular food items during the Chinese New Year are canned sea asparagus (RM 25.80 to RM 28), canned Pacific clams (RM 22.50 to RM 23.80), canned abalone (RM 118 to RM 488), processed sea cucumber (RM 100 to RM 250 per kilogramme) and dried sea cucumber (up to RM 1,900 per kilogramme).
On the other hand, Mandarines (M size) are selling for RM 23.90 per box at Milemewa supermarket in Kota Kinabalu. The supermarket has 380 boxes of Mandarines to be sold during this Chinese New Year.
A shop selling sewing supplies at Segama was also spotted selling Chinese New Year decorative items such as flowers and lanterns.
According to the spokesperson, the price of the decorative items remained the same as last year’s price as she was worried that raising the price might turn away customers due to the economy at the moment.