The mandarin season is almost over in Bhutan. 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, exported more than 400 truckloads of oranges this season. The firm has depots in Phuentsholing, Gelephug, Samdrupkongkhar and Nganglam.
Proprietor Sonam Tobgay said his firm was unable to send more than 300 truckloads of mandarin last year: “This season was better.” He added 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 US$12 and 15 a box today, depending on the size.
Bhutanese exporters exported 6396 tons of oranges worth more than US$2.5 million to Bangladesh in 2017-2018 season, one of the lowest mandarin export figures for Bhutan in the last decade.
In the 2016-2017 season, Bhutan exported about 23,482 tons of oranges to Bangladesh worth US$10.14 million.
Some traders however expected a better season. Initially, the orchards looked very promising but the fruits had fallen before harvest time. The export season will end by February first week.