Various varieties of mangoes have just started trickling into the Koyambedu wholesale market, the hub of mango trade in Chennai.

Summer is here. But mango lovers are still waiting for the king of fruits to arrive in large numbers.

Various varieties of mangoes have just started trickling into the Koyambedu wholesale market, the hub of mango trade in the city.

At present, only a few retail chains selling fruits have mangoes. As the stocks are limited, it may take a while before Chennaiites are able to bite into the succulent fruit at an affordable cost.

Wholesale mango traders said the market normally receives about 50 tonnes of mangoes every day in April. But this year, the market is receiving only 10 tonnes of mangoes daily, mostly from Kerala and the Salem-belt.

While many customers complain that mangoes are expensive and not of good quality, traders said consumers will have to wait for another week for good quality mangoes to arrive in sufficient numbers from Andhra Pradesh.

The first truck load of mangoes usually arrives in the city by mid-March. Traders cite the lack of rains as the main reason for the delay in arrivals.

A.S. Ganesh Babu, a wholesale mango merchant, said the Koyambedu market gets nearly 10 varieties of mangoes, including ‘banganapalli’, ‘imampasand’ and alphonso.

“We are getting most of the varieties but in small numbers. While ‘imampasand’ and alphonso cost Rs. 130 a kg in the wholesale market, they are priced at Rs. 150 per kg in the retail market. Last year, they were sold for half that rate,” he said. With the season for some other fruits like grapes, Indian apples and oranges coming to an end, they too are priced high. S. Srinivasan, president of Koyambedu wholesale fruits merchants association, said mangoes may cost less from next week.

Mosambis (sweet lime) and oranges are priced about 20 per cent more than last year. Sapota and watermelons, however, are available at nominal prices.

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