Nagpur orange turns sour for Bangladesh traders

Orange growers in the region of Vidarbha are complaining of a poor harvest this year. They are not alone, however; even traders from Bangladesh, the biggest export market for Nagpur oranges, say they are in trouble.

Over four months ago, the Bangladesh government increased assessment value for oranges by 10 cents per kg. Assessment value is the base price at which customs duty is calculated. Oranges attract over 90% duty. Now, as the value has been hiked, the final duty levied on the fruit goes up too. It is reported to have taken a toll on Indian exports, say trade sources here.

But oranges from Bhutan are sold duty-free in Bangladesh. A costlier Nagpur orange has a lower demand these days. Traders in Bangladesh say their purchase price has increased due to the duty hike. However, prices in Bangladesh markets are not enough to recover the cost. This has left each of them in losses.

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has been pushing for increasing orange exports to Bangladesh from the region. The minister on Saturday said he had a meeting with the Bangladesh home minister in New Delhi, wherein the latter “assured to take oranges in huge quantum from Vidarbha”. He has also taken up the issue of duty hike with the country’s leadership.


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