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Covid-19: After Jurong Fishery Port closure, some fishmongers not taking new orders due to lack of stock

SINGAPORE — With the closure of Jurong Fishery Port after it was linked to a Covid-19 cluster, some fishmongers who also sell their fish online said that they could not accept more orders because they had run out of supplies, or were using remaining stock to fulfil existing orders.

Covid-19: After Jurong Fishery Port closure, some fishmongers not taking new orders due to lack of stock

The seafood counter at NTUC Fairprice Xtra in Ang Mo Kio Hub was almost empty except for prawns, squids and a couple of varieties of fish at 5pm on July 18, 2021.

  • Jurong Fishery Port, Singapore’s main seafood wholesaler, was required to close for two weeks after being linked to a Covid-19 outbreak
  • Some fishmongers who sell online told TODAY they are having trouble securing new seafood supplies, so they are not taking new orders
  • Major supermarkets said they have sufficient stock of seafood, and that prices will remain stable for now

 

SINGAPORE — With the closure of Jurong Fishery Port after it was linked to a Covid-19 cluster, some fishmongers who also sell their fish online said that they could not accept more orders because they had run out of supplies, or were using remaining stock to fulfil existing orders.

Ms Rachel Chia, 26, co-founder of Guang’s Fresh Mart, said that since the closure of the port last Saturday (July 17), the mart no longer has any fish to sell because it does not keep stock overnight and was unable to secure new supplies. It usually buys fish from Jurong Fishery Port.

Mr Goh Ting Feng, 28, who runs family business Gogo Seafood, said that even though he has received orders through his Telegram channel and his store on e-commerce platform Shopee, he is unable to take them because he has to prioritise his corporate customers, which include restaurants and hawkers.

Although Gogo Seafood buys its seafood from Senoko Fishery Port, Singapore’s other main wholesaler, Mr Goh, like other fishmongers, has been ordered to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and resume business only after receiving a negative result.

Some of the fishmongers believe that they are permitted to continue with online sales in the meantime.

Online seafood retailer Wholefish.sg said that although it has seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of orders, it has had to put a cap on the orders “due to stock availability and quality assurance”.

TODAY’s checks of the websites of two other online fish retailers found that they have stopped accepting orders since July 17 due to the port closure.

Jurong Fishery Port is the largest of the two ports that handle fish supplies into Singapore. The cluster at the port was announced last Friday.

To curb the spread of infection, the port was ordered to close for two weeks until July 31. Fishmongers from all markets will also have to undergo Covid-19 testing.

In the meantime, all stalls selling fresh fish and seafood at markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) have been ordered to close to stem further transmission of Covid-19. Stallholders can resume business once they receive a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result.

SUPERMARKETS TO KEEP FISH PRICES ‘STABLE’

In response to TODAY’s queries, Dairy Farm said that it is “committed to keeping the prices of our seafood stable as we understand that these continue to be challenging times for everyone”. Dairy Farm’s operations include Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets.

It added that it will not increase the prices of the items under its Lower Prices That Last campaign, such as golden pomfrets and sea bass.

Similarly, NTUC FairPrice said that fish prices at its supermarkets will remain stable for now and it will keep customers informed should there be any change in prices.

“FairPrice assures customers that we maintain a policy of diversified sourcing where we work with multiple sources and suppliers to explore alternatives and ramp up existing supply. 

“Additional resources were quickly put in place to manage the increased capacity over the next two weeks. Regardless, we will also continue to monitor the market conditions closely.”

Dairy Farm said that it has enough stocks to cater to demand and will continue to have fresh and frozen seafood in its stores for purchase.

It will also not place a limit on purchases, though it appealed to customers to only buy what they need.

“We seek our customers’ patience and understanding during this period as the team works hard to meet their needs.”

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus fishmongers Jurong Fishery Port supermarkets online sales

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