This year, Indian mangoes are going to get expensive. Really expensive.
Since the mango season—April to June—began, prices of Indian mangoes have already gone up by 50-65% compared to last year, and are expected to remain costly throughout the year, according to the industry body, Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham).
Much of this is because India has experienced unseasonal rain in early 2015, which has damaged production of mangoes in key production states.
In April—when farmers usually start harvesting—the country saw heavy rains in the breadbasket states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. While the losses are still being assessed, Assocham expects that the production of mangoes has dipped by 20%.
“Mango is acting very pricey this summer,” Assocham’s report said. While the premium variety Alphonso is available at Rs500-600 per dozen in Mumbai’s retail market, even the low-end variety is selling at Rs100 a kg.
This year, the price of mango per quintal stood at Rs8,519 in January—nearly double of what it was at the same time last year. In April, the price per quintal was Rs2,317 compared to Rs1,976 in the previous year.
India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes—with 40% of the global market share—and produces about 1,000 different varieties of mangoes.
The country exports most of its mangoes to the UAE, followed by the UK and Saudi Arabia. Last year, the European Union had banned the import of Indian mangoes after fruit flies were found in the consignments. The ban has now been lifted.
Meanwhile, India will have less than normal rains this year, too. The monsoon season—which starts in late may and extends up to September—is expected to be just about 93% of a 50-year-old average index.