Pakistan's mango exports hit by Covid-19 restrictions
Pakistan's traditional mango exports take a hit from the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, as exporters fear a huge decline in export of the fruit this year, according to local media reports.
Suspension of international flights, closure of borders, rising freight fares, and on top of all, contracting demands altogether are likely to decline the country's mango exports by 35% to 40% this year.
Last year, Pakistan exported 130,000 metric tons (MT) of mangoes to the Middle East, Europe, the US, Japan, Australia and other countries.
This year, however, according to Waheed Ahmed, a leading fruit exporter and president of Pakistan Fruit Exporters' Association, the country is expected to export not more than 80,000 metric tons of mangoes.
"Pakistan had earned over $90 million through mango exports alone but it will not be more than $50 million this year due to present coronavirus conditions," Ahmed told Anadolu Agency.
"Timing is a key factor vis-a-vis mango exports as it's a perishable commodity. It cannot wait long," he said, adding: "Suspension of international flights has badly hit the mango exports to Europe and the US."
"Many exporters are sending mangoes to Europe and the US via cargo flights but their charges have increased four times," he added.
Closure of borders with neighboring Iran, and Afghanistan have also added to the decline in mango exports. The two countries together import 30,000 to 35,000 metric tons of mangoes annually.
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