Walk into Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee’s (APMC) fruit market and all you can see and smell is the king of fruits mangoes. With numerous boxes of alphonso mangoes having arrived in the satellite city from places like Ratnagiri, Devgad, Sindhdurg, Raigad and even Karnataka, those who planned to stock up when rates lowered could probably go ahead now. However, traders say that prices are likely to soar again in a few days as they are expecting a drop in supply in May.
Currently, there are around 45,000 boxes coming into the APMC market. However, come May and the numbers of boxes are expected to decrease by about 10,000. “This year, there is going to be a sharp drop in the supply of mango which would be coming into the market during May,” said Sanjay Pansare, fruit director of Vashi’s APMC market.
“Where last year, during May we saw about 60,000 to 70,000 boxes of mangoes enter the market, this year there will be hardly about 30,000 to 35,000.” Ask him why, and he blames it on global warming. “With constant climate change and poor showers, the fruit production has been badly affected.
The climate has become extremely unpredictable and one finds that it’s raining when it should actually be sunny and vice versa.” Presently, Devgad mangoes, considered to be one of the best, are priced between Rs 800 to Rs 2,500 per box. Each box is generally known to contain approximately five-dozen mangoes.
Exporters claim that this condition will not affect exports of mangoes in a big way. Kaushal Khakkar, CEO of Kay Bee Exports, said that the dip was expected. “This year, the king of fruits started coming in at voluminous quantity earlier than expected. In fact, from late February itself the fruit hit the market in a big way. However, if less quantity of the fruit arrives in the market in May, the prices could soar higher for export customers as well.”
Sellers duping customers
Sources said that there have been plenty of mango sellers outside APMC market who have been luring customers by selling Karnataka alphonsos in the name of Devgad mangoes at cheaper rates. "We have no issues with customers buying Karnataka mangoes," said a trader.
"But then these sellers cheat customers by calling them Devgad mangoes. People should be aware that a box of Devgad mangoes would cost around Rs 800 and therefore should take the necessary precautions.” While Devgad mangoes do not have a thick skin like those from Karnataka, they are sweeter compared to the latter. Karnataka mangoes also do not have a peculiar shine like Devgad alphonsos.