Fruit exports likely to be hit due to coronavirus contagion: Expert

Exports of fruits, including Alphonso mango, grapes and pomegranates, will be hit badly this year following the breakdown of supply chain and lack of demand as the world is grappling with economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an exporter said.

The supply to local wholesale markets is normal and on Thursday 100 trucks carrying Alphonso mango arrived at the Vashi market, APMC director Sanjay Pansare told.

“There is a normal supply of fruits and vegetables to the wholesale market here,” he said.

“The export of Alphonso mango has already begun to Europe and the Middle Eastern countries. However, we are expecting exports to be badly hit and there will be weak demand. During this kind of scenario people usually give preference to essential commodities and imported fruits are considered a luxury,” Pansare opined.

He said even here at the APMC Vashi, there are very few takers for fruits especially for Alphonso which is usually a high demand fruit.

Meanwhile, fruit exporter and importer INI Farms Managing Director Pankaj Khandelwal said the company has shipment orders but due to disruption of the supply chain, exporters are not able to ship.

He also said going forward, there is likely to be a slowdown in demand as many nations are witnessing economic slowdown due to the pandemic.

Following the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, 19, there was nearly a two-week stoppage of exports of fruits, vegetables and perishable items, he added.

Exports of grapes, Alphonso mango, pomegranate and to some extent bananas are likely to be hit as their peak shipping season is from December to late April, he added.