Courtesy Central American ProduceMichael Warren, president of Central American Produce, visited mango orchards in Peru recently.Markets for Peruvian mangoes were very strong in the first half of February.
Peruvian mango markets strengthened considerably beginning in late January, said Sabine Henry, saleswoman for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce.
The cause was mainly related to lower supplies, Henry said. While shipments to Miami were on time, shipments to the Northeastern U.S. were delayed by shipping issues in South America, she said.
Some vessels arrived in the Northeast up to 10 days late.
“The past two weeks we’ve had very good prices,” Henry said Feb. 11. “It went crazy. I’ve never seen it like that from Peru.”
Prices early the week of Feb. 10 were as much as $3 higher per box than last year at the same time, she said.
On Feb. 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a price of $8 for one-layer flats of kents 7-10s from Peru and Ecuador, up from $5.50-6.25 for Peruvian fruit last year at the same time.
While volumes will increase and prices drop as fruit begins shipping from Northeastern ports, it won’t likely be a dramatic shift, Henry said. That’s because Peruvian fruit that sat so long on ships because of the delays will have some quality issues.
“It’s month-old fruit, and kents get soft fast,” Henry said.
In addition, the end of the Peruvian deal in early March could create another supply gap, as both Mexico and Central America are running behind schedule this season, Henry said.
Peruvian volumes were steady the week of Feb. 10, said William Watson, executive director of the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board.
“The crop looks really good,” Watson said. “We anticipate mangoes from Peru for the next few weeks. A few mangoes will come from southern Mexico any day now, and we anticipate demand to continue to be steady as Mexico comes on board.”
Kents from Peru will be complemented by ataulfos and tommy atkinses from Mexico, Watson said.
Aside from a few instances of soft fruit, the quality of kents Central American was importing from Peru in early February was excellent, Henry said.
Fruit was on the big side, but the mix of sizes was better than earlier in the season, Henry said. About 60% of Central American’s mangoes were 7s and 8s, 20% 10s and 12s and 20% 9s.
Early quality out of Mexico looks good, Watson said.