KARACHI: Mango exporters have set a target of 80,000 tonnes for this year, a drop of 40 per cent, due to low production of the fruit and severe impact of coronavirus related lockdowns globally.
The target is 50,000 tonnes less than last year’s export target of 130,000 tonnes.
Global lockdowns have led to a sharp decline in demand for Pakistani mangoes. Reduction in flight operations and an extra-ordinary increase in freight charges have further hit mango exports, according to the Patron-in-Chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmed.
“Last year, Pakistan’s 130,000 tonnes of mango export earned $90 million which is now feared to drop to $50m this time. With the sharp reduction in the export target this year, revenue generation of valuable foreign exchange would be seriously impacted,” he stressed.
Due to climate change, Punjab’s share in mango production has fallen to 35 per cent from 70pc, while Sindh faces a reduction of 15pc from its usual share of 29pc in total mango production during the current season, he said
The global pandemic has led to shutdowns of international markets. The slowdown in the aviation sector, tourism industry and shopping malls has led to a significant drop in demand of various items novelty items, including mangoes, in foreign markets.
Ahmed said that airlines have enhanced their freight charges three times – up from Rs175 per kilogramme last year to Rs550 per kg for the Europe. Freight charges for Gulf countries, which were Rs80 per kg last year, have been enhanced to Rs240 per kg this year, thus multiplying the cost of shipment, he added.
Of the total export volume of mango, 55pc is exported by sea, 20pc by air and another 25pc via land routes.
“Due to the exorbitant increase in freight charges by the airlines, export of mango by air is feared to be reduced by 70pc this year,” Waheed said.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020