HCM City residents race to beat heat hinh anh 1Air conditioners were hot items at electronics stores in HCM City as temperatures climbed to uncomfortable highs (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Sales of air conditioners and fruits in HCM City soared in recent days as a heat wave hit the area.

Over the weekend, Nguyen Kim, one of the largest chains of electronics stores in the city, was packed with customers looking for air conditioners, fans and refrigerators.

A similar scene was seen at the Thien Hoa store in Go Vap district.

Tran Tan Hoang Hau, marketing director of Thien Hoa Electronics and Furniture Shopping Centre, said the sales of air conditioners, fans and refrigerators increased dramatically in the last two weeks. Some items saw a 300 percent increase in sales.

This year, the hot season came a little later than previous years.

Demand for air conditioners was sluggish after Tet (Lunar New Year) in January, but electronics centres made sure they had ample supply for the season.

A representative from Nguyen Kim said the demand for electronic maintenance had recently risen, including cleaning and repairing air conditioners. Costs of maintenance services have risen by 15 to 20 percent compared to the rainy season.

On average, cleaning an air conditioner costs 150,000-200,000 VND (6.5-8.7 USD) while installation costs 300,000-350,000 VND (13-15.2 USD).

Hot weather has also caused a spike in demand for certain foods, especially water-based fruits and vegetables.

Vo Thanh Duong, deputy head of Phuoc An Co-operative in Binh Chanh district, said that prices of ingredients to make nuoc mat (traditional water usually made from sugarcane and imperatae) have risen.

Duong said the price of a package of nuoc mat ingredients produced by his company had increased by 2,000-3,000 VND, compared to when the weather was cooler. 

Demand for cucumbers and bitter melons rose, but their prices remained stable at 10,000 VND and 11,000-12,000 VND per kilo, respectively. As vegetable yields improved during the dry season, their prices did not change much, Duong said.

Citrus fruits like oranges, pomelos and tangerines are also typically favoured in hot weather conditions.

However, Dung Quy Dong, owner of Quy Dong Farm in Binh Phuoc province, said the price for these fruits has increased as the harvest season has not arrived yet.

The price of tangerines sold at orchards in the southeast region went up by 5,000-7,000 VND to 22,000–27,000 VND per kilo.

A kilo of green-skin pomelos now sells for45,000–55,000 VND, up by about 10,000-15,000 VND.

According to Dong, demand for citrus fruits will continue to surge as the heat wave has also affected the northern region.-VNA