Compared to last year, prices of the fruit are down by 50-70% dropping to Rs 15 to Rs 45 per kg in wholesale markets and Rs 100 to Rs 150 per kg in retail markets.
With production almost doubling to 35 lakh tonne this season, domestic prices of pomegranate prices have come under pressure on high supplies. Exports, however, have been good so far crossing nearly 60,000 tonne and are expected to cross 75,000 tonne this season, top industry people said. The country’s production normally touches 20 lakh tonne.
Compared to last year, prices of the fruit are down by 50-70% dropping to Rs 15 to Rs 45 per kg in wholesale markets and Rs 100 to Rs 150 per kg in retail markets. Prabhakar Chandane, executive partner, MahaAnar, an association meant to encourage exports, said that new orchards coming up in Rajasthan and Gujarat have hit Maharashtra hard, the largest pomegranate-growing state in the country, with a coverage of over five lakh acres. The all-India area under pomegranate cultivation is about 15 lakh acres.
With a bumper crop in Rajasthan and Gujarat, the local wholesale markets in Pune and Mumbai are flooded with arrivals while Rajasthan and Gujarat are supplying the fruit to north India. Around 15,000 hectares of land in Rajasthan is under pomegranate cultivation.
On exports, Chandane pointed out that 100 containers were sent to Europe and 60 to Dubai so far. Although Bangladesh imports 1,500 tonne of the fruit on a daily basis by road, but this is unpredictable since the Bangladesh government tend to imposes duties suddenly, Chandane said.
This season onwards, exports have commenced to Russia in a small way and a meeting was also held with a representative who claims to have access to Chinese importers. If things work out, we could soon export to China as well, Chandane stated. The current season is expected to last till March end. Normally, the export season begins in November every year and is completed by March.