Pomelo sales expected to be down for Mid-Autumn Festival

PETALING JAYA: Although Mid-Autumn Festival is more than two weeks away, the price of pomeloes has already gone up by 20% due to a poorer harvest as a result of the rainy season. According to a report in China Press yesterday, pomelo traders do not expect the sales this festive season to be as good as last year’s.

Kuala Lumpur Fruit Wholesalers Association Honorary President Tai Kong Lin told the daily that in the past, the sales of pomeloes would pick up weeks before the Mid-Autumn Festival.

However, there is no sign of that “pomelo rush” so far, he said, believing that this also has something to do with the current state of economy.

Pomelo is usually eaten with mooncakes and other delicacies during Mid-Autumn Festival and is considered to be a favourite fruit of the Moon Goddess.

Tai said that apart from the bad weather, the lack of suitable land to grow the fruit is also a reason for the less-than-bumper harvest this year.

“Some famous pomelo varieties grown in Perak are also smaller in size this season due to the frequent heavy rains.

“Most of those available now are of small or medium sizes. Even so, they are sold at RM10 a kg, up RM2 or around 20% from last year,” he lamented.

Concerning whether consumers are waiting for the eve of the festival when sellers would usually lower the price to clear their stock, Lin said that due to the big drop in this year's harvest, it is quite unlikely that consumers would see a drop in price during 11th hour sales.

He disclosed that apart from meeting the demand in Singapore, Malaysian pomeloes are also exported to Indonesia, Brunei, China and Hong Kong.

As such, he said those who are waiting for the last-minute cheap sales may end up without the fruit for the festive celebration.