Mango export likely to fell 50% in 2020 due to COVID-19

Higher air freight cost,lower demand and hurdles in export to Iran main causes of this fall


The export of Pakistani mangoes is expected to fall due to coronavirus pandemic. The decline in export might be in the range of 50% to 70% depending on the reopening of the main markets for Pakistani mangoes.  The farmers and exporters both will suffer the losses as the result of export decline.
The lockdown in mango-importing countries has triggered a sharp decline in the demand for Pakistani mangoes while a virtual halt to flight operations and an extraordinary hike in freight charges pose harrowing problems for exporters.
 All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has slashed the export target of mangoes to 80,000 tons this year compared to last year’s target of 130,000 tons under the current circumstances.  
The airlines have hiked freight charges threefold due to suspension of their operations and as a result charges for mango transport to Europe have soared from Rs 175 per kg last year to Rs550 per kg this year.
In addition to this, freight charges for Gulf countries have been increased from Rs 80 per kg last year to Rs240 per kg this year, which has multiplied the cost of mango export consignments.
Closure of borders with neighboring Iran, and Afghanistan has also added to the decline in mango exports. The two countries together import 30,000 to 35,000 metric tons of mangoes annually.
Mango exports to the Middle East are continuing via sea route but the demands are not that high as tens of thousands of Pakistanis and other South Asians have returned to their countries from Gulf States, while a large number of people have lost their jobs." The low oil prices have severely affected the economies of these Gulf States.  
Until 2018, Pakistan produces 1.9 million metric tons of mangoes annually, thus ranking sixth in the world, followed by India, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico. Pakistan mostly exports Chaunsa and Sindhari variety out of several dozen different varieties produced in Pakistan.
The fruit pulp industry has urged the government to encourage the mango growers and exporters to go for conversion of mango fruit into natural pulp (without any additives and preservatives) through Aseptic packing that increases the shelf life up to 24 months and could help increase exports by $500 million in the world after coronavirus.  People in the industry said that every crisis comes with an opportunity.
More than half of the mango production area falls in Punjab 1, 00,000 (one hundred thousand hectares) followed by Sindh 50,000 (fifty thousand hectares) and then Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) with 14,000 hectares and 3,000 hectares respectively. 
The big mango production districts are Bahawalpur, Dera Ismail Khan, Hyderabad, Multan, Khanewal Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, Sadiqabad, Rahim Yar Khan, Vehari and Thatta.  
A substantial quantity is wasted from farm to market (post-harvest losses); some estimate this wastage up to 35 percent (i.e. 805,000 tons approximately.  Despite high demand of Pakistani varieties of mangoes in the international market, it is not exported in large quantities because of the lack of transportation facilities of perishable goods,
                                                                     Business correspondent

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