Outlook for mango exports

Published July 25, 2016
Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan visiting various stalls set up at the mango festival to demonstrate local varieties to enhance exports, at the Mango Research Institute, Multan, July 18.—APP
Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan visiting various stalls set up at the mango festival to demonstrate local varieties to enhance exports, at the Mango Research Institute, Multan, July 18.—APP

WHILE the prospect of achieving the target of 100,000 tonnes of mango export for this season remains obscure, exporters and officials are confident of attaining the elusive goal this time.

The country had failed to meet the last year’s target, because of a 40pc drop in the fruit production. So far, 40,000 tonnes of mangoes have been exported which is less than half of the targeted volume. In Punjab 20pc of mango crop has reportedly been damaged by monsoon rains which may persist for another month.

But chairman of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), the largest exporters group, is hopeful of hitting the target. His optimism is based on reports that Punjab is producing a good crop of mangoes. The export season which started on May 20 and may end by mid-September will reach its peak in August when almost 70pc of exports will be complete.

Meanwhile, the Senate standing committee on commerce was informed last month by the CEO of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) that over 120,000 tonnes of mangoes would be exported. Last year, the export figure was 72,000 tonnes. S.M. Muneer said Pakistan’s mango is now being exported to Australia, Libya, Mauritius and South Korea where its demand has gone up because of the fruit’s unique taste.


There is an urgent need to tackle the post-harvest losses as 30-40pc of mangoes are wasted every year. The losses can be cut down by improving the process from picking of fruit to value addition


According to the commerce minister, holding of exhibitions and festivals by Pakistan abroad is producing favourable results and opening new markets. The latest instance is of a ‘mango festival’ held on July 16 in Rome which was attended by the country’s elite, top officials and diplomats. A delegation of PFVA from Pakistan also took part in the event to meet importers. Italy imports mangoes from Peru and Brazil.

The focus on premium markets such as European Union states can help raise the volume of exports, but the freight cost of shipping merchandise to them is very high, with these countries accepting only high-quality mangoes. Pakistan has not been able to export mangoes in large volume to the US under its GSP Plus status because of its failure to meet the certification requirement for irradiation.

Prolonged discussions between the commerce ministry and the US Embassy officials, held last year, failed to find a way out to grant approval to an irradiation facility established in Lahore.

In 2010, the US government approved GSP Plus status for Pakistani mango exports for the first time, but suspended the facility in 2011, after discovering untreated mangoes in the shipment sent to the US. This facility was, however, restored last year.

Pakistan’s exports to the US remain low also because it is not making use of the facility of zero per cent duty under the Generalised System of Preferences (GPS). Exports can go up adequately if a reliable phytosanitary certification and inspection system is established to meet international standards set by the US for its imports.

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has expressed concern over the shortage of state-of-art facilities in the country for handling mango exports. Acting President Khalid Tawab says since mango is a perishable commodity, it requires speedy, effective and careful handling of the export consignments.

Inadequate hot water treatment facilities have made it difficult for Pakistan to enter markets of Japan, South Korea, US and Iran.Similarly, there is an urgent need to tackle the post-harvest losses as 30-40pc of mangoes are wasted every year. The losses can be cut down by improving the process from picking of fruit to value addition.

Meanwhile, the European Union has graded Pakistani mangoes with red and yellow cards which the FPCCI standing committee on commerce says is ‘unjustifiable’. Despite the best efforts by the exporters to meet the European Commission’s requirements, the committee’s chairman says the situation remains unchanged.

Pakistani mangoes are now selling at $800 per tonne. Before mid-July the price was $750 per tonne. Last year, the average price was $650 per tonne that fetched a revenue of $45m. Last year only 6,400 tonnes of mangoes were exported to Europe. This year’s target is 8,000 tonnes. About 60pc of the exports are sent through sea routes mainly to UAE from where these are re-exported to other destinations.

Published in Dawn, Business & Finance weekly, July 25th, 2016

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