It is a good year for mango lovers. Not only did Hapus mangoes start arriving early, they are likely to stay on in the markets till the end of June, marking what could easily be one of the longest mango seasons in recent years.
Sanjay Pansare, president of the fruits traders’ association of the Vashi wholesale market, said the mango season had started early, with fruits arriving as early as December. Other than Maharashtra, Alphonso mangoes from Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have made their presence felt in the local markets. “There is a 20 per cent increase in arrivals and the trend is likely to continue till the end of June,” he said.
Pansare said the Vashi market is recording the arrival of 1,30,000 boxes of four dozen mangoes on a daily basis. Thanks to the increased supply, the price of mangoes have also dropped significantly. “Compared to last year, the boxes are cheaper by Rs 1,000… the current prices are reminiscent of the prices from as far back as 1998,” he said.
In Pune, the price of mangoes is lower by Rs 200-300 per box. Rohan Ursal, a local trader with the Gultekdi market, said even after the ‘Ratnagiri season’ gets over, mangoes from Gujarat and the locally-produced Alphonso mangoes will be available till the end of June. However, both Pansare and Ursal said they have noticed a dip in demand from the local markets. “This is mainly due to the ongoing vacation season, with many of the consumers travelling out of town during the holidays,” they said. Lower prices in wholesale markets have also translated into lower retail prices, with good quality mangoes available for Rs 300 per dozen. Mangoes from traditional areas such as Devgad and Ratnagiri mostly get over by the middle of June, after which mangoes from Gujarat start arriving in the market.
Similarly, supply from Junnar, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh will be enough for the market till the end of June. While Konkan is famous for its Alphonso mangoes, mangoes are also being cultivated extensively in other states. And though mango aficionado talk about differences in taste and texture in mangoes from various states, of late, alphonso mangoes from Karnataka seem to have captured the popular palate.