RIYADH – The price of mangoes has gone up dramatically in the capital and other nearby areas as imports of the ‘king of fruits’ have declined this year.
A 5.5-kg carton of ‘badami’, a popular variety of Indian mango, was being sold recently for SR65 at local fruit and vegetable stores in Riyadh.
Only a couple of weeks ago, the same carton was being sold for SR45.
Saudi Arabia imports mangoes from countries, such as India, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen.
Indian mangoes, which include badami, alphonso and rassal, are always in great demand.
Pakistani mangoes available in the Saudi market include dusehri, langra and chaunsa, sold in different price ranges.
The most expensivevariety is the Indian badami mango, famous for its sweetness and size, weighing about 500 grams each.
Several consumers told Saudi Gazette that the mangoes available in the Saudi market this summer were of inferior quality and were being sold at exorbitantly high prices.
Amjad Shaikh, a visitor to a grocery store here, said that badami, imported directly from Hyderabad, capital of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, apart from its pleasant taste is also known for its long shelf life and disease-resistance.
“My family is always fond of mangoes, particularly badami, the Indian variety. But we were disappointed this summer after buying the fruit, as it never met our expectations, although we bought it at an exorbitantly high price,” said Shaikh.
Badami is generally cut into pieces, rather than squeezed for its juice, but the quality was so inferior this year that the mangoes began to rot two or three days after purchase, he said.
Many local dealers are taking advantage of the increased demand forfruits and vegetables during the hot summer months by raising the price for both imported and locally produced items.
“Some unscrupulous fruit and vegetable vendors are taking undue advantage of the lack of price monitoring by the authorities. We are afraid to think what what will happen during Ramadan when the consumption of fruits usually increases,” said another buyer. – SG