|During Tết holiday, tangerine prices risk a sharp fall besides green-skin pomelo. VNA/VNS Photo|
MEKONG DELTA – Demand for fruits in the Mekong Delta is falling even as Tết (Lunar New Year) approaches, and with large volumes of fruits entering the market, farmers are anxious.
The prices of a number of fruits such as green-skin pomelo, Năm Roi pomelo and well-known varieties of mango and star apple have declined sharply as a result instead of increasing as usual.
Nguyễn Văn Ngàn, a farmer in Tiền Giang Province usually earns a big income from selling fruits every year during Tết, but this year he is extremely worried.
He sold hundreds of kilograms of Lò Rèn star apples to traders at very low prices: First class fruits only fetched VNĐ32,000 (US$1.38) per kilogramme, VNĐ18,000 ($0.78) less than last year.
The price of green-skin pomelo went down steeply as traders stopped buying at the farm and many farmers reluctantly sold to small traders at the Vĩnh Kim wholesale fruit market.
At traditional markets, it is being sold at just VNĐ37,000 (US$1.6) per kilogramme, while last year fruits weighing 1.5 -1.7kg fetched VNĐ85,000 (US$3.7).
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made people tighten their belt,” Ngàn said
Nguyễn Trung Tính of Vĩnh Long Province and Nguyễn Văn Nam of Cần Thơ City are also concerned since traders are not placing orders or demanding low prices.
The prices of many speciality fruits in the delta are sharply down. Dragon fruit prices tumbled by VNĐ5,000 ($0.22) per kilogramme in the last three months to VNĐ8,000 ($0.35) and that of tangerine by VNĐ5,000 ($0.22)
According to Nam, fruit demand will soar from February 4, which corresponds to December 23 in Lunar calendar (traditionally called Kitchen Gods' Day) when people offer a variety of fresh fruits to revere the Kitchen Gods and prepare for Tết. – VNS