Orange export plummets following limited supply this season

The export of oranges from Phuentsholing is coming to an end

The orange orchards every year have provided farmers and orange exporters with more than just a livelihood option. However, the exporters in Phuentsholing say that the business so far has not been good compared to past years.

With the orange export season coming to an end, exports from Phuentsholing were also found lacking compared to past years. Although the demand for oranges is high in the market, the supply of mandarin has come down this year.

The mandarin exporters say that the supply from the farmers was not meeting the demand and that the supply has reduced drastically this year.

In past years, Phuentsholing used to be the center for mandarin export, but now there are only a few exporters left, who are still running the orange export business.

The proprietor of Druk Phuensum Import and Export (DPIE) house, Sonam Tobgay said they were only able to export 50% to 60% of the mandarin so far compared to the previous year.

He said, “The export of oranges has dropped by 40% compared to the previous year.”

While the demand for oranges in the market is high, Sonam Tongay added that the supply from the farmers has decreased this year.

“The export was less this year because the supply from the orchards has decreased,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DPIE house is one of the top mandarin exporters in the country. It collects oranges from villages like Dungna, Lokchina, Sampheling in Chhukha and Dorokha along with some selective villages in Samtse.

The DPIE house exported 37 truckloads of mandarin from Phuentsholing.

Mandarin is exported to Bangladesh. The price for the meel (bigger orange) is USD16 and for keel (small) is USD13 per box this year.

One of the orange exporters said while the demand in the market for oranges was good, the quantities of oranges were not able to meet the demand.

“The pandemic has affected the orange market chain which did not meet the market demand,” the exporter added. 

The export of mandarin from Phuentsholing began in the first week of December last year.

Sonam Tashi from Phuentsholing