But the mandarin still fetched better prices
Mandarin export fell last season due to alternative harvests and untimely rainfall but still managed to fetch better prices.
Bhutanese exporters sold off 6,395 MT of mandarin. Phuentsholing-based mandarin sellers exported 2,085.155 MT of mandarin to Bangladesh and 1,09MT to India worth US$ 973.197 and US$8,179.737 respectively.
Druk Phuensum Import and Export House exported the highest volume of mandarin followed by Peling Export. Druk Phuensum Import and Export House exported 841.414 MT of mandarin while Peling Export exported 487.093 MT from Phuentsholing depot. Meanwhile, Pelden Export exported 443.655 MT from the same depot.
Rejected mandarin went to India where Druk Phuensum Import and Export exported 49.18 MT. Peling exported 23.309MT and Manu Export 3.995 MT to India.
The highest volume of export from Phuentsholing was recorded in December 2017, which was 1,544.027MT followed 483MT in January. Around 57MT was exported in November from Phuentsholing depot.
More than 14MT of mandarin worth US$ 9.55 was exported per day during the season. Up to 60.750MT went to Bangladesh a day from Phuentsholing depot.
Likewise, 1,423.6MT of mandarin worth US$ 649119 was exported from Samdrup Jongkhar. Around 3,361 MT of mandarin was exported from Gelephu to Bangladesh.
Around 23,482 MT of mandarin worth US$ 10,140,803 was exported to Bangladesh in 2016-17 from all the depots. Close to 4,535MT worth US$ 2,084,536 was exported to Bangladesh in 2015-16.
Records maintained by the Bhutan Exporters Association from Tamabil entry point near Bangladesh border show 120 trucks of mandarin entering Bangladesh from Bhutanese exporters. Druk Phuensum exported 64 truckloads while Pin Nga Enterprise exported 50 truckloads. Peling exported six truckloads of mandarin to Bangladesh. However, no records have been maintained from Burimari, another of the two entry points of Bhutanese mandarin.
The season between 2016-17 saw better harvests and the export, too, was robust. However, exporters remain contented with last season’s prices. The Meel (big) orange cost Nu 910 per box while Keel (small) orange fetched Nu 715 this year.
Last year, Meel was exported at Nu 780 while keel cost Nu 585. Sangay Penjor, proprietor of Pelden Export said that alternative fruiting and untimely rainfall caused low volume of harvest last season. “Despite better prices, we would have been happier if the harvest had also been better,” he said.
In the previous season, Druk Phuensum Import and Export exported around 900 truckloads but export decreased drastically this year. The export house, normally the biggest exporter, could send only 300 truckloads. Nim Tshering, proprietor of another mandarin export business said that absence of frequent strikes in India and syndicate smoothened the routes this time.
The mandarin season in Phuentsholing shortened last year from December 2017 to January 2018. Usually, the season starts from mid-November and lasts till March first week.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing