The mangoes grown in Pakistan have just hit the markets across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first shipment arrives in the Kingdom from the port in Karachi, before the official start of the summer holiday months. The mango varieties Almas and Sindhri have so far made it to the Kingdom and distributed in the markets. The Sindhri variety of the Pakistani mangoes are grown in Sindh, hence the name, and are considered as one of the top varieties of mangoes in the world. The mango is characterized by the extremely sweet taste and smell along with its golden – yellow color and healthy size.
The importers of the mangoes from Pakistan are both local Saudis as well as foreign nationals living and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Those importers who have spent their life in the business state that the 2016 mango crop has been a bumper crop in Pakistan. Importers also stated that the exports from Pakistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other countries in the GCC region can be increased keeping in mind the mango crop harvested in Pakistan this year. The GCC region inclusive of the KSA and UAE are the biggest importers of Pakistani grown mangoes in the world and hence are the biggest market with little to no Pakistani mango harvest making it past the mango loving GCC region.
Some of the importers in the GCC region operate from the UAE as it is the shortest distance from the port in Karachi, Bin Qasim Port, from where everything is exported out of Pakistan. After the Sindhri variety of Pakistani mangoes, come the Anwar Ratol, Kala Chaunsa and Chaunsa variety. These varieties dominate not only the markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the markets in the United Arab Emirates and also other GCC countries.
The mango season lasts around 3 months every year. During these 3 months, it is estimated that upwards of 3 million crates of mangoes are exported from Pakistan to the Gulf countries alone. Only last year, in 2015, the export of Pakistani mangoes to the Gulf region countries dropped immensely. This came as a result of the Pakistani government banning the use of any and all wood packaging which includes cases, boxes and crates for the use of storing vegetables and fruits.
Experts on the matter are claiming that an unannounced sudden ban on the wood packaging caused a notable 50 percent drop in the exports of mangoes out of Pakistan. Since the orders of the wooden crates had been places, the only option left was to repack in corrugated cartons and hence increasing the price. This year however the exporters are completely prepared from the beginning of the season with the corrugated cartons well in stock. The Pakistani and Indian grown mangoes dominate the global markets in terms of taste appearance and overall appeal. However the mangoes are in such high demand in the GCC region that it often does not reach other parts of the world.
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