Importers to reduce purchases for Tet as lower demand feared

Thursday, Dec 17, 2020 07:34

A store selling imported fruits in HCM City. Importers of fruits plan to buy less than usual for Tet in 2021 due to lower demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. — Photo

Companies that import fruits and foods expect lower demand during Tet (Lunar New Year) next February due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and plan to reduce import.

A company in Binh Thuan Province said it has decided to cut fruit imports between now and Tet by 50 per cent compared to the same period last year despite abundant global supply and steady prices.

“The demand for imported fruits always exists during Tet, but will definitely decrease this time. So not only our company but also many others will tweak their plans. This year we will focus on importing a few popular and easy to sell fruits such as apples, pears and grapes."

But Pham Thien Hoang, director of Pham Hoang Trang Company (which owns GreenSpace Store), expressed a different opinion, saying Tet is the season for consuming fresh fruits such as apples and cherries in the high-end segment.

But their prices have increased significantly this year because the cost of harvesting the fruits in major exporting countries of the fruits such as the US, Australia, and New Zealand have gone up by two to three times due to the impact of COVID-19, and there is a lack of international flights.

Fresh fruit imports are expected to reduce this Tet, while the supply of imported nuts such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and pecans will surge, he said.

“These are healthy and nutritious foods. Their prices are not too high at about VND300,000 - 400,000 per kilogramme and imported from many countries. In addition, natural dried fruits such as grapes, plums, and apricots are also imported to serve the market in replace sugar-coated fruits," he told Nguoi lao dong (Labourers) newspaper.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, owner of a company that imports feng shui gifts and organic and processed foods from Russia, said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has made things stagnant so we do not dare import as much as in previous years.”

The transport cost has increased but his company accepted lower returns to keep prices unchanged, he said.

But market research company Ipsos said despite a turbulent year due to the pandemic people’s budgets for Tet are almost the same as last year.

They are somewhat higher in the high-income group, mostly the same in the middle-income group and down by 15 per cent in the low-income group.

Travel abroad this year would be minimal, and so nearly 50 per cent would stick to the tradition of going home to celebrate Tet, it said.

This would increase consumption of food and drinks (confectionery, dried fruits, nuts) but reduce that of tobacco, alcohol, confectionery, and instant foods, it said.

Traditional gift products would be bought as usual.

According to other market research companies, while consumers will still spend during Tet, demand will surely reduce from previous years. — VNS

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