Mango exports likely to surpass 120,000 tons

KARACHI: Pakistan is anticipating to make record high mango exports of over 120,000 tons in the ongoing year 2019 as higher production and significant rupee depreciation helped push export volumes at a time when exports of many other goods remain sluggish.

“Pakistan made record-high exports of around 120,000 tons of mangoes some five to six years ago,” All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) former chairman Waheed Ahmed told The Express Tribune. “This year, we are anticipating exports close to 130,000 tons,” he estimated.

The country has so far exported 115,000 tons of mangoes worth $80 million in the current season, which started in May 2019. The export season would culminate by the end of October, meaning a whole month was still left to reach close to the record high.

He said traders failed to fetch higher prices for mangoes in export markets. However, significant growth in export of the fruit in volumetric terms helped the country achieve higher export proceeds compared to the last season.

The country had fetched close to $70 million through the export of 82,000 tons of mangoes last season – May-October 2018. “We are likely to make mango exports worth a total of $85 million this year,” he said.

Pakistan exports mangoes of around a dozen varieties including Sindhri, Summer Chaunsa, White Chaunsa (late variety), Fajri, Ratawala/112 (late variety), Kaiser, Anwar Ratol and Lal Badshah.

He elaborated that traders exported mangoes within a price range of $650-800 per ton in the current season compared to $650-1,000 per ton in the previous season. “The rupee depreciation played a leading role in helping to attain a five-year high export volume of 115,000 tons so far in the current season,” he said.

He said higher production of the fruit at 1.5 million tons this year compared to 1.3 million tons last year and drop in its price to Rs75-85 per kg at farm level also helped traders to increase exports this year. He added that the adoption of global standards for nurturing mangoes on trees and tree plantation in orchards also helped achieve the higher crop size this year.

“Pakistan adopted world standards for mango plantation and cultivation after Europe banned Indian mango in 2014,” he said. “Adoption of the standards not only helped Pakistan successfully avert the ban from European and other countries but also helped in higher production and exports in the following years.”

The third thing, which helped Pakistan achieve higher export of the fruit, was the availability of the export time slot.

“Pakistani mango export accelerates during July-September every year. This is the time slot when no other country makes significant export of the fruit across the world,” he said. Last but not least, the aggressive marketing of Pakistani mango in export countries supported exporters in getting the desired results.

“Mango exporters, in collaboration with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistani embassies in the export countries, aggressively marketed the fruit,” he said.

He said Pakistan marketed mangoes in 25 traditional markets in Asia, Europe, and the US.

“Still a huge potential is available for growth in mango export to existing markets despite the surge in exports this year,” he said. Pakistan exported a significantly high quantity of mangoes to countries including the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Iran, Afghanistan and some European countries.

Traders also achieved higher exports in countries including the US, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland. Traders also tried their best to make higher exports in high-value markets including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Japan, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2019.

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