The Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) has kept this season’s mango export target unchanged at 175,000 tons owing to strict quality control monitoring against fruit flies in Pakistan and in the European Union (EU).
The export season will start from May 25 and the country is expected to fetch $65 million at the end of the season.
Fruit exporters are facing serious problems with traditional markets especially Iran where the country used to export 30,000 tons of mango from annually. Due to international sanctions on Iran, Pakistan is losing $10 million every year in mango exports alone, spokesperson of PFVA Waheed Ahmed said.
Moreover, just like the last two years, exporters will not be able to export mango to high value market likes Japan and the United States. However, the country’s exports to new and potential markets like South Korea and Australia are expected to increase significantly, he added.
Pakistan’s largest export market is of Europe where it exports about 24,000 mangoes annually but its exports to the EU are expected to decline as Pakistani exporters will be more focussed on quality instead of quantity.
Pakistani exporters say that the country can significantly increase mango exports to China, Mauritius and South Korea. However, since buyers in these countries put plenty of emphasis on packaging and appearance of the fruit, Pakistani exporters need to work hard in creating a loyal clientele in these markets, Ahmed added.
According to PFVA, this year’s mango production has declined to 1.45 million tons compared to 1.85 million tons of last year due to climatic changes. The worst hit region was Punjab where mango production dropped to about 0.9 million tons from 1.2 million tons while Sindh’s production is also expected to plunge to 0.55 million tons from 0.64 million tons.
Pakistan exports mango to 27 countries and its leading markets are Western Europe, North America, Middle East and South East Asia.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2014.