Around half of the expected 4 to 5 lakh tonnes of apple from Himachal Pradesh and 15% of the 20 lakh tonne from the valley has arrived in the various markets of the country, traders said.
In the Delhi Azadpur mandi average price of apple was about Rs 40-50 a kg which has dropped by 50% in the last fortnight due to increased supplies and low demand, said Jimmy Khailani, treasurer of the Shimla Apple Merchants Association in the Azadpur mandi.
"The demand is 25% less than the previous year due to lock down on weekends in various parts of the country and no major festive demand for the next one month, " said Khailani.
He said export demand from Bangladesh and Nepal was only 25% of the previous year.
Daily arrival of trucks to the Azadpur mandi from where they are distributed to the rest of the country was about 400 trucks of 12 to 15 tonne each, said Metharam Kriplani, president of Azadpur Chamber of Fruits and Vegetables Association. He said supplies from Jammu and Kashmir will peak by the month end and further put pressure on prices.
Apple production in Himachal Pradesh’s was expected to be 33% less than last year at 2.5 crore boxes of 25 kg each this year, leading to firm prices. However, fewer buyers in the market and low quality crop has led to the drop in prices, said Naresh Sharma, chairman of the Shimla and Kinnaur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee .
"Prices have crashed all of a sudden, taking farmers by surprise. Some may hold the crop in cold storages for few months to get a better price realisation while others who need money will sell upfront, " he said.
The government should procure apple under the market intervention scheme (MIS), said Ravinder Chauhan, president, All India Apple Growers' Association. "Current prices are similar to what we got in 2017, though input and labour cost has doubled. This year the crop is less and quality is poor due to the pest infestation.The labour shortage from Nepal has added to our woes, leading to delay in apple picking, " he said.
Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
1 Comment on this Story
Lancy Fernandes125 days ago
Good News, Some Ecommerce site for Apples is
Washington â ¹199, Royal Gala, â ¹175 and Shimla 125.