Variable weather hits Indian mangoes
Wet and cold weather in many Indian states during flowering has meant mango exports are already considerably lower than normal, with wholesale prices doubling in some cases.
Amrut Farms and Processes in the western Indian state of Gujarat has 2,500 Kesar mango trees exporting small volumes to the U.K., as well as supplying two exporting companies.
Owner Rishikesh Sojitra said his farm's yields would be 50% lower this season compared to the previous one due the weather.
"Fruit setting was affected because it was colder than normal after flowering, resulting in lower pollination. It has affected us very badly."
He said normal temperatures from December to February were around the 22-25°C (71.6-77°F) but this season temperatures were only 12°C (53.6°F).
Importer Everfresh UK Ltd agreed yields were significantly lower, resulting in a doubling of the price of a box of 12 mangoes to GBP 20 (US$32 ) in the wholesale market.
"The cold weather was a problem; obviously mangoes need hot temperatures and they were much lower this time. Imports have been delayed," said a company spokesman.
Everfresh UK mainly imports Kesar and Alphonso varieties from the key Indian mango-growing states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, also in the west of the country.
Mango crops in the south eastern state of Andhra Pradesh were reported to have been affected by heavy rains in January, which affected flowering with crop yields predicted to be 20% lower this season.
However, producer and exporter B2B Agro executive Pradeep Singh Shekhawat, said it was business as usual for his Delhi-based company.
"The varieties we export from India have not been affected. Demand is very high and prices have been increasing."
He said Gujarat state's soft variety of mangoes were the most affected but there were other large mango producing states such as Uttar Pradesh in the north whose mango season is from May to June.
Karnataka state, in the south west, is expecting a bumper crop due to healthy and time flowering in February, which will ultimately depend on light rainfall in April for this to materialise.
India ranks first among world’s mango producing countries, accounting for about 50% of the world’s production. Major producing states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.