Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

As mandarin export season is coming to an end, exporters in Phuentsholing say the business was just average.

Although there was demand in the market, supply of oranges had reduced drastically.

Unlike in the past when Phuentsholing used to be the centre for mandarin export trade, there are only a handful of exporters today. 

The proprietor of Druk Phuensum Import and Export (DPIE) house, Sonam Tobgay, said they were able to do only about 50 to 60 percent of business compared to last year. 

“This is because the supply from the orchards has decreased,” he said. 

Druk Phuensum is also one of the top mandarin exporters in the country. It collects oranges from villages in Lokchina, Dungna, Sampheling in Chukha and Dorokha in Samtse. So far, the export house has been able to export 37 truckloads of mandarin from Phuentsholing.

Mandarin is exported to Bangladesh. The floor price this year is USD 16 for meel (bigger oranges) and USD 13 for a keel (small). 

The Proprietor of Peling Export also agreed the market was good this time, but no quantity.

They exported only five trucks of oranges until today. 

Mandarin export in Phuentsholing began in the first week of December 2021. 

Another exporter said that a pandemic has affected orange trading. 

“The supply is 50 percent less,” he said. 

The exporter said that he has spent a lot of money constructing the depot and bringing in labourers. “I doubt if I will even be able to recover the expenses.”