Bountiful Mexican supplies are helping retailers promote mangoes.
Supermarkets should expect Mexico to continue shipping strong supplies to the U.S. through Labor Day as Brazilian production begins to ramp up, importers say.
Because of the heavy volume, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting low late summer prices.
Mexico is in its peak and has been shipping more than 3 million boxes a week, said Greg Golden, partner and sales manager of Amazon Produce Network, Mullica Hill, N.J.
The high volume prompted lower prices but made for strong promotions, he said.
“There’s a lot of movement and a lot of consumption,” Golden said Aug. 6. “The quality is at a peak and the eating quality is fantastic, especially with the kent and keitt varieties. I think we will stay in this peak with really good prices and promotable volumes for another three to four weeks barring any drastic weather events.”
Chris Ciruli, a partner in Ciruli Bros. LLC, Nogales, Ariz., said Mexico should ship through mid-September.
He said Mexico volume has declined to 1.6 million-1.7 million boxes a week and said he expects this season’s crop to ship around 66.2 million 4.5 kilogram cartons, exceeding last year’s record 58 million cartons.
“The volume keeps decreasing every week you go but it’s still good volume for this time of the year,” Ciruli said Aug. 7. “We’re seeing decently priced markets but with this bigger-sized fruit, retailers are having to retail the per-piece fruit at higher prices.”
On Aug. 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported these prices for Mexican crossings through Nogales: cartons of 1 layer kent varieties 6-8s sold for $3.25; 9s, $2.75-3; 10-12s, $2.50-3.
The USDA reported variable quality and condition and said crossings include light volumes of keitt and tommy atkins varieties.
Prices are similar to last season when the USDA on Aug. 11 reported cartons of 1 layer keitt and kent varieties at Nogales selling for $3-3.50 for 6s, 7s, 8s and 9s, with 10 fetching $2.75-3 and 12s at $2.50-3.
Ciruli said shipments were building for the later season keitts from southern Sinaloa and said he expects the kents from northern Sinaloa to continue through late August. He said the deal is also seeing some tommy atkins shipments.
Keitts are the predominant variety shipping in early August and quality is reported as high, said Gary Clevenger, managing member and co-founder of Freska Produce International LLC, Oxnard, Calif.
He said volume is up for the third consecutive year.
Clevenger said the first load of Brazil fruit set is scheduled to depart Aug. 12 with arrivals pegged for late August and early September.
He said he’s hearing Brazil production could be down up to 20%.
“This season should bring typical Brazilian quality and a very nice looking piece of fruit,” Clevenger said Aug. 6. “The blush coming from Brazil is usually very nice. We don’t anticipate much difference from that region.”
Golden said early Brazil production should be a little lighter than the last several years but closer to normal production ranges.
Ecuador normally begins loading its boats in late September for early October arrivals and Brazil typically finishes production in late November.