If you relish mangoes, then there's reason to rejoice. The prices of the 'king of fruits' have come down and are expected lower further later this month.
"This is just the beginning of the season and the rates generally remain low. But as the climate conditions played spoilsport, mango crops have lost their sheen and this has mainly led to the lower prices. However, most of these mangoes are of good quality," said Viraj Sheth, a vendor.
With the prices going down, residents of Mumbai and Thane are eagerly preparing sweets from mangoes and restaurants are dishing out some of the best 'aamras'.
"We can now manage to prepare aamras and other mango delicacies with good quality mangoes. Last season, due to high prices, we would mix other species of mangoes to the quality ones in our preparations.
But this year, we have Alphonso mango-based sweets and juices," said a Thane hotelier, not wishing to be named.
In fact, many stalls selling raw mango juice have also come up across the cities.
Sanjay Pansare, director, APMC fruit market, said: "Alphonso mangoes from Devgad and Ratnagiri have come to Rs500-600 a dozen from Rs700. Similarly, mangoes like Payri are available for Rs250 a dozen. Other mangoes like Badami and Totapuri are available between Rs70 and Rs90 per kg. There has not been a drastic fall in prices but it comes down a little every week. Compared to last year, there are lesser mangoes in the market."
Traders believe that mangoes have a good season every alternate year. As they were in abundance last year, this year is bound to go slow on quantity.
However, mango lovers are making full use of the fall in prices. "Every week, we try to prepare a new delicacy with mangoes. This is the best season to relish them and with the prices falling we want to enjoy as much as we can," says Snehal Dedhiya, a Thane resident.