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INDIA : STRONG LOCAL MARKET DETERS EXPORTS

PUNE: With mango production being just 30 per cent of what it was last year, exports of Alphonsos have declined by 60-70 per cent, say experts. 


This has also pushed the export prices up. 


The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said that the export prices rose by 20-30 per cent compared to last year's. Sudhakar T, deputy general manager, APEDA, Mumbai, said:



 "Alphonso exports have commenced to the west Asia and Europe. Exports of other varieties will also start soon as quarantine inspectors from the US and Japan have arrived."

Sudhakar, however, said that the decline in production would not mean a decline in exports, because exports form only a small portion of the total production.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Pansare, director of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Mumbai, said that, "Alphonso exports to Gulf countries, UK, Canada and east Asia are 60-70 per cent less. Till now, we have exported only 10 per cent of the quantity exported during the same period last year."

Kaushal Khakhar, CEO of a fruits and vegetable exporting firm in Thane, said that he has exported just 20 per cent of the quantity he had exported last year. 



"Till the middle of April last year, I had exported about 150 shipments of mangoes to the UK and Europe. This time, I have just exported 10-15 shipments.

Fall in production has led to a rise in export prices, which in turn has led to a decline in exports. Mango prices in March 2010 were not as high as those seen in April this year," Khakhar said.

The prices in local and export markets are the same. 



It generally depends on the quality of mangoes, Khakhar said. "We require good quality mangoes for exports. So the prices are high. By the time the shipments reach the destination country, the price includes the air freight cost as well."

NA Jessani, secretary of the Vegetable and Fruit Exports Association, said that mango exports have fallen by 65 per cent this year. "High prices deter exports.

Since there has only been 10 per cent of crop this year, exports have fallen. This is true of entire Maharashtra."

Vivek Bhide, a mango grower and exporter in Malgund, Ratnagiri, had exported five-six consignments of mangoes to the UK, Japan and Singapore till April 15, last year. 



This year however, Bhide cancelled all the orders from the UK and Japan, and would only send a consignment to Singapore.


 "Of the total crop, only 30 per cent is demarcated for exports. This year, the total harvested crop was just 20 per cent of that last year. My exports have come down by 75 per cent this year." Bhide predicted a 25 per cent rise in the export prices of mangoes due to the fall in production.

An official from the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) said that the mango exports in 2007-08 were 54,000 tonnes with a realisation of Rs 127.4 crore. 



"In 2008-2009, the exports were 83,000 tonnes with a realisation of Rs 170.7 crore, while in 2009-2010, it was 74,500 tonnes with a realisation of Rs 200 crore.

The decline in exports this year cannot be predicted, as varieties such as kesar, have shown normal yield in the state," the official added.

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