With unexpected rains lashing India in the months of February and March, wholesalers in Dubai predict a steep rise in mango prices this year.
The unseasonal rains have hit the mango crop hard. This region imports a large share of its mangoes from India.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Gaffur, a mango wholesaler in Dubai said, "Prices of most of the mango varieties are up this time. We have five to six varieties of mangoes coming to the market from India, the most popular being the Alfonso. But the rains have played spoilsport. The supply is turning out to be very less."
Among the other varieties of mango imported from India are Lal Bagh, Badami, Kesar etc., coming from places like Chennai (Tamil Nadu's capital), and Ratnagiri area in the state of Maharashtra.
In Maharashtra, which is a major producer of mangoes, the produce has dropped by nearly 40 per cent owing to unseasonal rains in places like Ratnagiri and Raigad.
"At present, it costs Dh40 to transport one carton (3.5kg) of Alfonso by ship. It costs Dh60 to get the same quantity by air. We bring in mangoes mostly by air as it takes a short time and the freshness is intact. Last year, we were importing the same quantities between Dh25 and Dh30.
Similarly, the price of one carton of the Kesar variety of mango is Dh32 currently. Last year, the price was between Dh22 and Dh23. The rains have caused the mango prices to firm up even in India," Gaffur pointed out.
Another wholesaler in Dubai said the rising mango prices had forced them to shift attention to the crop from other countries. "We are concentrating more on Kenyan mangoes as the price of a carton (4kg) comes to Dh32-34. But then the mangoes from Kenya are better for juice preparation. The Indian mangoes have a different quality. However, we expect the mangoes from Pakistan to start arriving by late May," said the wholesaler.
Talking about the supply scene, a representative of the Choithram's supermarket chain said, "Right now, we are selling 15 pieces (4.5kg) of the Alfonso variety at Dh45. Last year, the price was Dh35. The other varieties have also seen a hike in prices. This year, we do not have adequate of mangoes so far."
A representatives of Giant Supermarket chain said they were still waiting for the mangoes from Pakistan to arrive. "We hear that more stocks will come soon. Until that time prices will continue to soar."
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