Mango output this year is expected to decline by 10-15 per cent because of crop damage from recent unseasonal rain. However, this is unlikely to affect prices.
Lasting a little over two days, the inclement weather is reported to have damaged mango bulbs and flowers in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
“An assessment is yet to be done on the extent of damage,” said S Insaram Ali, president, All India Mango Growers' Association.
The National Horticulture Board's first advance estimate was for output at 19.52 million tonnes in 2015-16, as compared to 18.52 mt the previous year. It says sowing was 2.2 million hectares, from 2.1 mn last year.
Prior to this, the weather had been supportive, barring some damage due to cold weather in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, hub of the Alphonso variety.
Prasad Jadhav, a farmer in that district, says he doesn’t expect a major change in his fortunes this year, despite lower output. “The season started with a base price of Rs 1,000-1,200 a dozen (of Alphonso) early this week, almost similar to last year,” he said. "As the season goes ahead, the price would decline when other varieties hit the market.
Ali, too, sees little possibility of a significant increase in prices.
Exporters say they have large orders from the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), primarily for Alphonso and some other varieties such as the kesar. Orders from other destinations have been tepid and export growth could be largely flat.
“There has been huge order flow from the EU and US. We estimate handsome growth in exports to these regions,” said Dattatreya More, general manager (mango), Deepak Fertilisers.
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