If you have a strong liking for the king of fruit, there is good news for you. Thanks to a bountiful harvest in the mango belt of the western districts in the State, vendors of the fruit in the city are in a sanguine mood, expecting huge consignments of mangoes in the coming weeks.
What’s more, some of them predict a lower price than last year. If the oil companies don’t tinker with fuel prices, that is.
According to several vendors at the Anna Fruit Market in Koyambedu, there is a marked difference in the availability of mangoes between this season and last year. In 2012, the fruit had a late arrival to the market, thanks to a prolonged North-East monsoon with rains stretching into February.
“That is the flowering time. Owing to rain last year, the harvest fell. But this year it is different,” says Palaniappan, a fruit wholesaler.
Traders say farmers in the mango belt of Salem, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri are indicating a bountiful harvest thanks to the favourable weather conditions that prevailed this year.
Though the fruit is yet to arrive in large numbers in Chennai, the signs are quite telling. “In the last two years, the first mangoes came in only in the last week of April. This year they have started pouring in a month earlier,” says Thamarai Selvan, another fruit vendor.
At the moment the market is seeing a flood of the Bangalora variety from Andhra Pradesh, the favoured choice of juice factories.
“Yesterday we received about 70 tonnes, of this variety. The wholesale price is quite low with a kg costing just Rs 10,” says Chandran, a trader. In the retail market, the same fruit costs between Rs 15 and Rs 20.
Another variety that is already visible is the Banganapalli. Vendors say that the quantity of this popular variety will triple in the next few weeks and reach its peak by mid-May. “At the moment the price ranges from Rs 40 to Rs 60 per kg. Depending on arrivals this will fluctuate. But we feel this time it won’t shoot up as much as in previous years when it even touched `80 at one point,” said another vendor.
Chennai has seen more people willing to buy exotic varieties, including the Alphonso. Other popular varieties consumed by the city include Imam Pasand and Senthura.