Mango imports from Peru are on the rise, shippers say.
Greg Golden, partner and sales manager for Mullica Hill, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network, said the company has seen the most growth from Peru on the West Coast.
“We were fairly stable on the East Coast, but there was a gigantic jump on the West Coast,” he said.
Amazon Produce Network has enjoyed an 80% jump in Peru imports on the West Coast, Golden said, which he attributes to more availability for vessels and faster service to the West Coast.
In addition, at the beginning of the season, Peruvian fruit was a little smaller, which Golden said fits better in West Coast markets.
Others have also noticed an increase in volume from Peru this year, which could be partially attributed to the weather.
“Everything has a lot to do with the weather. For the past several years we’ve had a lot of El Niño activity, which particularly affect mangoes,” said Ken Nabal, president of Kingston Fresh, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Demand also plays a factor.
“Certainly, the growing demand is a big part of this increase,” Nabal said. “Mango consumption continues to grow here in the U.S.”
Nabal said mango imports from Peru are especially exciting because of the varieties they represent.
“We get very excited during the Peru period of winter mango production. We are exclusively into the kent variety, which has great eating qualities and our customers love them,” he said.
The increase from Peru is noteworthy in terms of overall supply, said Megan McKenna, director of marketing for the National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla.
“Mango imports in 2013 compared to 2000 (have) increased 236% from Peru,” she said, mentioning that Peru is the second largest source for imported mangoes, representing 10% of mango volume.
McKenna lists Ecuador as also seeing a rise in imports to the U.S., with a 160% increase from 2000 and 21% over last year.
Peru has seen the biggest jump, with a 53% increase over last year. As of mid-March, 12 million boxes had been shipped. The projection for the year was 10.9 million boxes, according to the March 14 mango crop report from the board.