Wholesale fruit market reopens

Slow start: The wholesale fruit market at Koyambedu reopened to dull business on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

After nearly six months, the wholesale fruit market reopened at Koyambedu on Monday. Traders said the response was poor on the first day.

The fruit market was shifted to the Madhavaram temporary market as the Koyambedu market turned into a COVID-19 hot spot in May. The State government allowed the grains and wholesale vegetable market to be reopened in phases since mid-September.

Following this, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Saturday announced that the wholesale fruit market would be reopened on Monday. Fruits and vegetable retail shops would be reopened in three phases from November 16.

On Monday, nearly 140 wholesale fruit shops did not open. The market received a small number of visitors. Traders said they were able to make only 20% to 30% of the normal sales at Koyambedu. The sales are expected to pick up pace in the next few days.

The temporary market at Madhavaram continued to function with semi-wholesalers. While about 30 vehicles brought produce to Koyambedu on Monday, nearly 80-90 vehicles were diverted to Madhavaram, traders said.

S. Srinivasan, president, Chennai Fruits Commission Agents Association, said, “We are happy to shift to our own shops and the process of shifting is still on. Wholesale traders would be able to function better when the semi-wholesale business also shifts to Koyambedu after Deepavali.”

The Koyambedu market mostly received truckloads of bananas, apples and pomegranates, and a few trucks of sweet lime on Monday. The price of most fruits was reasonable as there were not many takers as the trade was continuing in Madhavaram as well, he said.

While sweet lime was sold for ₹42 to ₹48 a kg and oranges for ₹28 to ₹32 a kg at the wholesale market, apples were sold for a minimum of ₹80 a kg according to quality.

There were about 650 semi-wholesalers and retail fruit merchants who were functioning at the Koyambedu market before it was closed in May, the merchants added.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 9:36:08 AM |

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