HYDERABAD: As the mercury levels continue to rise across the state, the only good news for people seem to be the early arrival of fruits in the markets. And what adds joy to the good news are the low prices.
Gaddiannaram fruit market in Kothapet, one of the largest in the state, where thousands of farmers sell their produce, is booming with watermelon, sweet melon, muskmelon, grapes and mangoes.
Traders say that the booming supply is a result of an increased production and this, in turn, has brought about the drop in prices. Mangoes, for instance, are much cheaper compared to previous years. The Banganapalle variety are now in abundance, whereas there was a shortage last year. This year, the fruit arrived in February as against the usual time of arrival in March. While the same variety was being sold at Rs 25-50 last year, it is now available anywhere between Rs 15 and Rs 35 per kilogram.
Further, the prices are expected to go down in the coming months, points out Mohammed Ayub, a mango trader at Kothapet Market. The case in point is similar with Sweet Lemon (Mosambi) of Nanded.
Last year, a crate of oranges was priced at Rs 500 to Rs 600. At present, owing to the increase in production, the same is being sold for Rs 200 - Rs 300, said a distraught trader Md Afzal from Nagpur.
Around 20 to 40 vehicles of water melons arrive at the market everyday from various districts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and also from Nanded in Maharashtra. Pineapples come from Kerala. The summers make the fruit quite expensive with the increase in demand. The prices have not changed much compared to last year when it was sold for Rs 15-18, say pineapple traders Ramesh and Simmaiah.
Various mosambi qualities are also available with prices varying from as low as Rs 80 per 100 pieces to as high as Rs 600 per 100 pieces.
Apples come in many varieties too. Apples this season are majorly imported from New Zealand, China, Fiji, Granny Smith of Australia, Royal Gala of Washington-USA. Apples which are imported from China come at a price range between Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,200 per crate. The other variety which comes from Washington ranges between Rs 2,500 - Rs 2,600 per crate. Indian apple is available from Rs 18 to Rs 20 to Rs 40 each.
A crate of Kiwi fruit, about 112 pieces, from New Zealand is available at Rs 1,700 per crate. Grapes cost about Rs 90 per kg whereas black grapes come for Rs 120 per kg compared to last year when it was sold at Rs 100 for black grapes and Rs 60-80 for green ones, said fruit seller Kala bhai.