Marketers expect mango volumes similar to last year

08/31/2012 10:55:00 AM
Tom Burfield

The Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board expects overall U.S. mango imports this fall to be similar to last year’s, said Megan McKenna, director of marketing.

Fall mangoes are produced primarily in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Major varieties are tommy atkins, keitt and some ataulfo.

“It is still too early to forecast the Ecuadorian crop with confidence,” McKenna said in mid-August. 

“Weather is certainly impacting mangoes, as they have seen higher temperatures than normal during the past weeks, and this adds a level of uncertainty to the flowering stage.”

As a result, there could be a delay in the start of the season, with shipments from October to mid-January.

“At this point, Peru looks like it will be a long season — late November to late March — with normal volume,” she said.

Volume from Brazil should be about 6 million boxes, which is typical, said Clark Golden, partner in Amazon Produce Network, Mullica Hill, N.J.

Brazilian shipments got started a bit earlier than usual, Golden said.

Mangoes typically start arriving in the U.S. around Aug. 15, but this year, he said, 20 loads had arrived before that date.

He expects Amazon Produce Network to have about 2.2 million boxes of Brazilian mangoes, as usual.

“Everything is starting off right this year,” he said, with no rain at inopportune times and with fruit coming in clean, hard and with good color.

The peak of the Brazilian season is late September and early October, he said, with some growers shipping until early November.

Tommy atkins is the most prevalent variety, but the company expects to have a small ataulfo deal in October.

Southern Specialties Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla., plans to have a Brazilian mango deal from September until Christmas, said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development.

Oxnard, Calif.-based Freska Produce International LLC expects a normal crop of tommy atkins and ataulfos from Brazil this season., said managing member and co-founder Gary Clevenger.

The ataulfo deal seems to be expanding every year, he said.

Splendid Products LLC, Burlingame, Calif., will have a light Brazilian mango program from early September until its Ecuador program starts in mid-October, said Larry Nienkerk, partner and general manager.

The company ships tommy atkins from Brazil and kicks off its shipments from Ecuador with that same variety along with the haden variety and then works into some kents, he said.

“The fruit that has come in (from Brazil) is of good quality,” he said in mid-August, and he also expects good quality from Ecuador, which will ship until the end of January.

A Peruvian deal will start in mid-December.

San Diego-based Coast Citrus Distributors Inc. has shipped mangoes year-round for many years, said Isabel Freeland, vice president.

The company was finishing its Los Mochis deal out of Mexico in mid-August and expects to see volume increasing out of Brazil in early September.

Coast Citrus should have consistent volume of tommy atkins and ataulfo varieties from Brazil through October, Freeland said.

Central American Produce Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla., is increasing its volume to meet higher demand, said president Michael Warren.

The company’s Brazilian mango program kicked off with good quality and volume this summer and will move to Ecuador in October to help supply the firm’s year-round mango program.

Amazon Produce Network offers some organic mangoes, Golden said. But relatively high prices seem to be preventing consumers from snatching them up.

“They always have too much volume in organic,” Golden said, so sometimes the only way to move them is to lower the price or market them as conventional fruit.

Overall, the mango category continues to look promising, Cleavenger said.

Consumption in the U.S. has doubled over the past five years, he said, and there still is plenty of room for growth.

Volume from every country is on the rise, and f.o.b. volumes are rising, as well, he said.



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