Good price for mandarin in January satisfy farmers and exporters
As 2022 ended, farmers and exporters engaged in the mandarin export business were not sure of the rates that they would fetch at the end of the export season. However, both are happy today with the prices that the citrus fetched as the mandarin export season ended.
Although the business was just average in December last year, the price improved in January, 2023. The proprietor of Druk Peling Export, Pemba, said that overall the mandarin business went well. He said that the floor price for the fruit in December 2022, was USD 15 for meel (bigger oranges) and USD 12 for keel (small) per box.
It picked up to about USD 16 for meel and USD 13 for keel in January, 2023. Though the price kept fluctuating, Pemba said that overall mandarin business was good.
“The quantity of supply was less,” he said, adding that there were less exporters this year.
Speaking along the same lines, proprietor of Pelden Import and Export, Sangay Penjor said that the orange business went well, with the citrus fetching satisfying prices. He said that initially exporters faced problems of not having insufficient wooden boxes. Later, the government of Bhutan talked with the Bangladeshi government and the export was facilitated.
Baron Powdyel, the owner of BNB Enterprise said that exporters also faced difficulties in getting Letter of Credit (LC) from Bangladesh, which impeded the business. He said there are no other modes of transaction, except LC. The exporters had to wait till the LC signed by counterparts in banks from Bangladesh were received.
Thambir Rai from Phuentsholing who is a mandarin grower said that the rate was good this season. He also said that farmers were pleased when the orange price improved in the month of January.
Similarly, JB Rai from Dungna said he is relieved as he could now pay his loans.
Another farmer from Lokchina, Indra Bdr Rai, said that favorable weather had helped in ensuring that the business was good this season. “This is the highest price we are getting after five to seven years,” he said.
However, Indra Bdr Rai said that the failure of citrus trees to produce a satisfactory crop of fruit even after abundant blossoms, is often an exasperating experience. He explained that the fruit had shed prematurely, in the month of October, 2022. “Had there been good quantity of fruits, farmers could have earned a lot,” he said.
Meanwhile, both farmers and exporters said that they were able to do only about 50 to 60 percent of business compared to the last season.
Sangay Rabten from Thimphu