Around 100 tonnes of mangoes have left for foreign markets since the start of the export season in April after being treated at facilities run by the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB).
On average, 70,000 boxes of mangoes are arriving daily in Vashi market, Navi Mumbai, and 30 per cent of them are being exported, mainly to the Gulf countries. Exports of mangoes from Maharashtra started in the first week of April with the fruit leaving mainly for Gulf countries, US, European and Russian markets. “Countries which have a substantial Indian population are the main export destination of mangoes,” Sanjay Pansare, a mango trader, said.
This year, however, most mango-growing states have reported a dip in production, hitting supply. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, all have reported a dip in production. In Maharashtra, a prolonged winter followed by a steep rise in temperature have pushed production down by around 30 per cent. Mango growers in Maharashtra’s Devgad said they would close the season early this year given the excessive heat but assured that mangoes from the region will hit markets by mid-May.
Surprisingly, the slide in supply has not pushed up prices as quality concerns plague the fruit. Pansare said that this would be a rare season when prices would not rise even though demand has remained constant. “Even for the festive season of Akshay Trititya we do not foresee any rise in prices,” he said.
Chandrakant Mokal, president of the Mango Growers Association of Maharashtra, said that Devgad mangoes will hit the market by mid-May. “Raigad mangoes will start arriving soon and will be available till the end of May,” he said.
In Pune markets, mango arrivals have picked up in anticipation of the festive season but quality concerns have kept prices in check. The premier Alphonso mango — the prized produce from the Konkan region of the state — is trading at Rs 800-1,000 per box while Alphonsos from Karnataka are trading at Rs 600-1,200 per box. A single box has four-five dozens of the fruit.
Mangoes form a major chunk of the state’s export basket with Alphonso finding favour in the US and European markets. Last year, exports had dipped by 13 per cent with total exports at 38,234.02 tonnes, against 49,1880.46 tonnes in 2016-17. While the state government is confident of a 20 per cent increase in exports this year, farmers are pessimistic.