Pakistani Mangoes Ban in UAE
Pakistani mango lovers in the UAE may not be able to relish the king of fruits this season anytime soon, as the country’s decision to ban mango exports in wooden crates is likely to delay shipments.
Importers of Pakistani mangoes, Working in Dubai’s Al Aweer Fruit Market, fear that the export consignments worth millions of Pakistani rupees will perish in Karachi and other cities due to a surprise move by the Pakistani government, which banned the use of wood packaging including crates, boxes and cases for storing fruits and vegetables from May 20.
According to Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the decision has been taken amid considering phytosanitary measures since wood is a pathway to the introduction of pests.
Pakistan’s fruit exporters filed a petition at the Sindh High Court challenging the ban. They submitted that with the arrival of the mango season, they had placed an order for wooden crates, which have been made and the ban would cause huge loss to them. A wooden crate costs Rs40 (Dh1.4) compare to the Rs110 (Dh4) for corrugated cartons.
Traders in Dubai said that the first shipment of Pakistani mangoes usually arrives in Dubai by the third week of May. “But now, since the wooden crates had already been made, it is impossible for the exporters to repack mangoes in corrugated cartons without raising the prices and deliver them on time,” they said.
During the three-month mango season the Dubai-based traders import 2.5 million crates through more than 130 ship trips. A crate of Pakistani mangoes weighing 8-10kg fetches Dh18-20 in the wholesale market.
It might be disappointing for many of UAE mango fans, who were eagerly waiting for the cheaper Pakistani crop after unseasonal rain had already damaged the Indian crop by 30-40 per cent, which take the prices of the fruits more High.
Both Indian and Pakistani mangoes dominate the UAE market with almost a 70 per cent share, while products from Kenya, Sudan and Australia serve the rest of the market.
The UAE-based traders imported Pakistani mangoes worth $6 million and approximately it had a share of 32 per cent in total Pakistani mango exports, which reached 90,714 tonnes in 2014.