Workers unload goods from a truck at the Hoc Mon wholesale market in Ho Chi Minh City, Sept. 21. Photo: VnExpress / Quynh Tran
The amount of goods arriving at the three wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City is at a record low as sellers are deterred by strict Covid-19 regulations.
The Hoc Mon market received five tons of goods on Tuesday, the lowest amount ever.
The market reopened on Monday at 132 tons, but only 22 were distributed to other markets, its director Nguyen Tien Dung said.
Thu Duc market received 74 tons of fruit on September 17, the first day it reopened, and the number dropped to 71 tons on Tuesday. No vegetables have arrived as sellers are reluctant to resume trading.
Binh Dien Market, the earliest of the three, which reopened on September 7, received around 91.5 tons of goods on Tuesday, up from 100 tons two weeks earlier.
These numbers are unusually low compared to pre-pandemic levels of 7,000-10,000 tons of meat, fruits and vegetables arriving at all three markets daily.
A spokesman for the Thu Duc market said vendors are reluctant to trade because they have to test Covid-negative every three days.
Rules that only allow trucks to enter the market along with vehicle and staff registration have further discouraged them, he added.
Dung of Hoc Mon said testing costs are a burden for vendors.
“We tried to encourage them, but not many are ready to start trading again.”
Many sellers sell their goods along national highways to avoid complicated market regulations, he added.
Some have also become familiar with selling online, he said.
Hanh, a saleswoman in Hoc Mon, said selling direct to dealers is faster and she has no plans to return to the market yet.
“Maybe we will come back when everything is open again and there are fewer restrictions.”
The three wholesale markets reopened this month after mostly closed since July due to the rising number of Covid-19 infections in HCMC.
These markets are the main hubs for the meat and vegetable trade in the city.