Traders see shortfall in arrivals; say unseasonal rains destroyed mango flowers
Before you spot them, you get the unmistakable scent wafting through Central Market overpowering every other fruit and vegetable. In assorted shapes, sizes and colour, the mangoes are back in the city. But for the smell, there is nothing grandiose about the arrival of the King of Fruits.
Mango traders say the arrivals are not up to expectation, and market can see a spike in prices. “Mangoes from the local farms — which started arriving a month ago — are around 50 per cent less than last year,” said trader Mohammad Farooq at C.R. Fruit Stall in Central Market. He says unseasonal rains destroyed much of the crop during the flowering stage. “Because of this, mangoes will be a little more expensive than last year,” he said.
Mangosellers say the season will peak in May when much-in-demand mango varieties such as Mallika, Banganpalli and Alphonso from Ratnagiri and Chittoor come in bulk.
Badami sells at Rs. 60 a kg; Kalapadi at Rs.100 a kg; Kapusi at Rs. 90 a kg; Banganpalli at Rs. 80 a kg; Rasapuri at Rs. 80 a kg; and Mundappa at Rs. 60 a kg.
Totapuri, which is trickling in, sells at Rs. 40 a kg. (All prices are the “stated” price and are subject to hectic bargaining.) The king of mangoes, Alphonso, is at a premium here at over Rs. 120 a kg, with stocks coming intermittently from Ratnagiri.
“Last year, Banganpalli and Badami were selling at Rs. 50 a kg, while Kalapadi at Rs. 70 per kg. We have received only 60 per cent of the consignment of mangoes we would normally receive,” said Abdul Munaf of LCR Traders. He hoped for a flood of mangoes in early May which would bring in better sales and margins.
Even Abdul Khader Ahmed, whose shop seems to have one of the biggest displays of mango in the market, said there was a shortfall of around 20 per cent. Here, premium Alphonso variety comes at Rs. 140 a kg, but even the King of Mangoes has few takers. “Fewer people are coming to buy. The rates are still high, and they are waiting for May, when prices are low, to get the mangoes,” he said.
However, with the uncertainty around arrivals even next month, Ahmed warned that prices could go up in May.
“We’ll continue getting mangoes till June. If there are lesser quantities being available from other places, then the prices may continue going higher,” he said.