Hapus — the prized mango from the Konkan region of the state — has started flooding wholesale markets of Pune. Lack of retail sales, however, has seen prices crashing in the wholesale markets, a trend which traders say is likely to continue for the rest of the season.
After suspending trade for more than a week due to the coronavirus pandemic, traders and commission agents of Pune’s wholesale market have resumed operations from April 1. Soon after the markets opened for business, mangoes from Konkan region started arriving in large quantities in the market.
Yuvraj Kanchi, a mango trader operating in the Pune market, said 1,200 boxes of mangoes have arrived in the market o Friday. “Prices ranged from Rs 1,000 per dozen to Rs 3,000 per dozen for better-quality fruits,” he said. For mangoes that are smaller in size, the price ranges from Rs 400 to 700 per dozen.
This drop in prices at the very beginning of the season is because of the complete absence of retail customers from Pune’s markets, said Kanchi. Due to the nationwide lockdown, most retail fruit shops have closed down, which has seen prices tumbling.
Other traders in the market say this trend is likely to continue throughout the season. They pointed out that the current season has started on a wrong note. Untimely rains during September had resulted in many of the orchards in Konkan and Karnataka shedding their flowers, which delayed the season by a month or so.
Usually, mangoes start arriving in early March and continue doing so till the end of May. This year, the first fruit of the season arrived towards the middle of March, after which the lockdown had seen supplies being disrupted. In the mango orchards of Konkan, many labours have started leaving for home, thus disrupting harvesting.
The sudden rise in temperature will lead to more harvesting, as otherwise the fruit will ripen on the trees. This will lead to increased arrivals, which will reduce prices further in the market.
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