SINGAPORE: The dry spell that occurred in China from August to September 2013 has affected the harvest of Mandarin oranges.
This could in turn affect supply ahead of the Lunar New Year at the end of January and could drive prices upwards.
During the Lunar New Year, Mandarin oranges symbolise prosperity and Singaporeans prefer to exchange big oranges rather than medium- or small-sized ones.
The Singapore Fruits & Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association says there will be a 20 to 25 per cent rise in the prices for big oranges, and a five to 10 per cent increase for medium and small oranges.
However, it believes the supply of oranges will be sufficient and consumers should not worry for now. It says the situation will be clearer two weeks before the Lunar New Year.
"During Chinese New Year, we are able to substitute (with) another Mandarin (orange) from Pakistan called the Kinnow. But for the Kinnow, the taste is not as good as (the oranges) from China and Taiwan," said Tan Chin Hian, managing director at fresh produce supplier Ban Choon Marketing. - CNA/ec
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