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Pakistan Mango Production Expected to Decrease 50% Due to Climate Change

Fresh Mango
Pakistan
Price Trend
Environmental Issue
Supply Yield / Stock Quantity
Jun 22, 2022
Written by
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Benjamin Lategan
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Pakistan's mango production is expected to decline by around 50% from 1.8mmt in 2021 to no more than 900,000mt in 2022, due to unusually high temperatures, windstorms, and water shortages. The downturn in production is expected to result in a decrease in export volume from a projected 150,000mt for the 2022 season down to 125,000mt. Due to the high demand and shortage of Pakistani mangoes, importers estimate that Pakistani mangoes will increase in price by 10% to 15% YoY compared to 2021. The Pakistan government is looking to increase mango exports in the future by encouraging mango producers to process mangoes into natural pulp which could help increase export value by USD 500 million.

Pakistan produced roughly 1.8mmt (million metric tons) of mangoes in 2021 making it the sixth-largest mango producer in the world behind India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Mexico. Punjab, the country's largest province and bread basket, produces 47.79% of the country's total mangoes, Sindh produces 40.71%, Balochistan produces 9.73%, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa produces the remaining 1.77%. Until 2018, Pakistan produced 1.9mmt of mangoes annually, but the country’s mango production has declined over the past four years due to unfavourable weather patterns attributed to climate change. Pakistan's mango production is expected to decline by around 50% in 2022 reaching no more than 900,000mt, due to unusually high temperatures, windstorms, and water shortages. 

Until March, Pakistani mango producers were expecting a bumper harvest. However, temperatures soared to 38-42 degrees Celsius in March and April, at least 6 degrees higher than normal causing large-scale fruit-shedding. The weather in Pakistan also transitioned from winter to summer without experiencing a spring, according to the country's Climate Change Ministry, with temperatures in the south reaching highs of 50 degrees Celsius in May 2022. Scientists have linked this early onset of summer and spikes in temperature to climate change.

High summer temperatures help mangoes to ripen but it simultaneously requires irrigation to promote fruit growth and prevent tree stress and subsequent fruit-shedding. However, Pakistan is facing huge water shortages in 2022 due to low snowfall and rains, resulting in insufficient water for mango irrigation. In May 2022 the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) listed Pakistan among 23 countries facing drought emergencies. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) warns that the water crisis may get worse by 2025 and ranks Pakistan third in the world among countries facing acute water shortages.

Pakistan receives an abundance of annual rainfall and has one of the largest irrigation systems in the world; however, it only manages to store 0.09% of the total water it receives yearly. River water disputes with neighbouring India and between provinces have been a governmental issue in Pakistan for the past 70 years. The Sindh and Punjab provinces disputed water distribution before Indian independence in 1947. The Balochistan province also accuses the Sindh province of stealing its water. In another weather-related disaster, heavy windstorms in the first week of May also caused major fruit-shedding in mango orchards compounding the damage from high temperatures and water shortages.

Figure 1: Pakistan Mango Export Value 2017-2021

Source: TradeMap

The significant decrease in production is expected to put downward pressure on export volumes. Pakistan exported an estimated 160,000mt worth USD 163.3 million in 2021 primarily to the Middle East, EU, US, Japan, and Australia. The downturn in production is expected to result in a decrease in export volume from a projected 150,000mt for the 2022 season down to 125,000mt. Due to the high demand and shortage of Pakistani mangoes, importers estimate that Pakistani mangoes will increase in price by 10% to 15% YoY compared to 2021. Despite the low production, the Pakistan government is looking to increase mango exports in 2022 and beyond to buffer the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Pakistan’s mango export value increased 260% over the past five years from USD 45.37 million in 2017 to USD 163.34 million in 2021. The Pakistan government is encouraging mango producers to process mangoes into natural pulp which could help increase mango exports by USD 500 million.

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