Mango deal transitions to offshore fruit

10/02/2012 02:56:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Central American Produce mangoesCourtesy Central American ProduceSabine Henry, saleswoman for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce, expects tommy atkins from Brazil to begin peaking the week of Oct. 8. Mango importers reported a smooth transition from Mexican to offshore deals, and they expect markets to remain fairly steady into November.

Freska Produce International LLC, Oxnard, Calif., reported a good transition from its Mexican mango deal, which wound down the week of Sept. 24, to its Brazilian deal, which began the week of Oct. 1, said Gary Clevenger, managing member.

Freska plans to add Ecuadorean mangoes the week of Oct. 15, Clevenger said. The company’s Ecuadorean fruit will be focused on the West Coast and Brazilian mangoes on the East Coast.

“It’s a smooth transition,” Clevenger said. “We don’t expect any problems.”

Sabine Henry, saleswoman for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce, expects tommy atkins from Brazil to begin peaking the week of Oct. 8. Ecuadorean product will likely follow by the end of the month.

Henry said early fruit from Brazil was peaking on 7s and 8s, with very little fruit in the 10-14 range.

“We’d like to see more of a mix,” she said. “Usually 9s and 10s are ideal for retailers.”

Brazilian exporters assured Henry, however, that smaller fruit would be more plentiful beginning the week of Oct. 8.

Prices could drop in October, but any declines would be slight, Henry said.

Clevenger said he expects markets to remain fairly steady until mid- to late November, when Ecuador begins peaking.

On Oct. 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $8.50-9 for one-layer flats of tommy atkinses 7-8s from Brazil, up from $5-5.75 last year at the same time.

William Watson, executive director of the National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla., reported strong demand as Mexico yields to offshore producers.

“We’re hearing there’s a strong desire among people looking to promote fruit,” he said Oct. 2. “Demand has not been impacted (by the transition).”

Watson expects more diversity in the Brazilian and Ecuadorean deals this year, with more ataulfos coming from Brazil and more ataulfos and kents from Ecuador.

The majority of fruit shipping from Brazil in early October was tommy atkins, with some ataulfos, Clevenger said. Ataulfos, tommy and hadens will ship from Ecuador at the beginning of its deal, with kents and keitts coming later.

Freska’s Brazilian and Ecuadorean volumes are expected to be up about 10% from last year, Clevenger said.

Henry said volumes would be down slightly due to three factors: lower acreage, lighter yields and an increased emphasis on shipping only the highest-quality fruit. She reported good quality on early Brazilian shipments this season.

Peru will take over Freska’s offshore mango program in late December, Clevenger said.

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