The mandarin season is almost over and exporters say this season (2018-2019) was slightly better than the last.

One of the biggest mandarin exporters in the country, Druk Phuensum Import and Export House has exported more than 400 truckloads of oranges this season. Druk Phuensum has orange depots in Phuentsholing, Gelephug, Samdrupkongkhar, and Nganglam.

Its proprietor Sonam Tobgay said his firm was unable to send more than 300 truckloads of mandarin last year.

“This season was better,” he said, adding that his firm got much of the oranges from Dagana and Gomdar.

As mandarin is mostly exported to Bangladesh, exporters had also anticipated disturbance in December 2018 with the Bangladesh elections starting. However, there were no disturbances, exporters said.

The price of mandarin is USD 12 and USD 15 a box today depending on the size.

Bhutanese exporters exported 6396.38MT of oranges worth more than USD 2.5 million (M) to Bangladesh in 2017-2018 season, one of the lowest mandarin export figures for Bhutan in the last decade in comparison to 4,535.35MT worth USD 2.08M in 2015.

In the 2016-2017 season, Bhutan exported about 23,482MT of oranges to Bangladesh worth USD 10.14M.

Peling Export’s proprietor Pemba said export this season was better. Peling Export also has depots in Gelephug and Nganglam.

“I exported about 150 truck loads of mandarin as of now,” he said, adding that Pelden exported about 80 truckloads last year.

However, unlike other exporters, Manu Export’s proprietor Arjun said business was not good this year

“I expected a better season,” he said. “The orchards looked very promising but the fruits had fallen before harvest time.”

Manu still managed to export about 55 truckloads until yesterday. It had exported 40 truckloads in the last season.

The export season will end by February first week.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing