Heavy rains throw cold water on sale of fruits in Mumbai
Traders in Vashi's APMC market say retail sales are plummeting as people prefer to stay indoors; as a result, middlemen are not purchasing produce in large quantities to pass on to retailers
The return of heavy rains is spelling trouble for fruit traders at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee market in Vashi, as people are not stepping out of their homes to buy fruits. This has affected both the wholesale as well as the retail business.
Since fruits at APMC market in Vashi are taking at least two days to be sold, perishable items are getting spoiled in the waiting period
Even though the festive season is on, sales have dipped; traders say middlemen are not purchasing produce in large quantities because retailers are not able to sell them due to lack of customers. Deepak Jaiswal, owner of Jaiswal International fruit shop at the market, said, “Due to heavy rains in the past few days, people are not coming out of their homes.
This has affected the retail business as well as ours. As there are very few takers for fruits, the sales movement inside the market has been affected. The sales turnaround time has increased now.” This means produce that would earlier get sold in a single day, now takes a minimum of two days to be cleared. During this period, perishable items naturally get spoiled traders, said.
Subhash Patil, another trader, added, “Usually, during monsoons, the produce gets damaged during transport. With the fall in demand, the produce is being further affected.” In the wholesale market, apples are being sold for Rs 50-60, as compared to Rs 60-90.
Custard apples are going at Rs 40-50 (10-20 pieces), as compared to last week’s Rs 60. Apples are available for Rs 100 to Rs 120 per kilogram and custard apples are priced at Rs 60 per kilogram in the retail market. While retail prices have largely remained the same, the volume of sales has gone down. Sales of other fruits like pear, papaya and orange, too, have been affected.
Sanjay Pansare, director of APMC fruit market, said, “Every year, during heavy monsoon, sales are poor as retailers do not do good business and purchase of fruits is much less. This, in turn, affects the sales flow inside the wholesale market, thereby affecting the produce and prices.”