Mango shipments from Brazil are underway, with the season delayed compared to previous years.
“Brazil is coming in later, and this is by design,” said Greg Golden, partner in Vineland, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network. “After two consecutive poor starts of seasons with Brazil fruit hitting in late August and volume in early September with Mexico still very heavy, they lost a lot of money.
“We pushed the calendar back and asked for nothing before Labor Day and volume only arriving by mid-September,” Golden said. “They listened and did not induce flowering as early as in past seasons.”
National Mango Board communications manager Angela Serna said the season began in early August and said volume projections are just 1% lower than 2017.
“They are projecting 7.8 million boxes for the season and expecting to finish their season during the second week of December,” Serna said. “At this point, we are not aware of any weather-related issues affecting the crop.”
“Weather caused production delays this year in both Haiti and Mexico,” said Jessie Capote, partner in Miami-based J&C Tropicals.
Serna reported that overall mango volumes from the country are down 48% from the same time last year, with roughly 1.47 million boxes this year compared to 2.17 million in 2017.
“This year the season was delayed due to the impact of the 2017 hurricanes and the heavy rains that followed, which significantly affected the trees and the flowering stage,” Serna said. “Due to the later than normal start, the 2018 season will extend through the first week of September, compared to the 2017 season that ended at the end of July.”
Weather has also affected production in Mexico.
“Mexican projections have shifted slightly due to a slowdown last week in northern Sinaloa as we switch varieties from kents to keitts,” Golden said. “My projections have not shifted much.
“Weather was bone-dry in southern Sinaloa this year, and that has shortened the season versus last year,” Golden said. “They are basically ending now where they were heavy for another two weeks last year. The effect is that there will be less volume from Mexico the last week of August and first week or two of September compared to last year.”
Golden said there have been no breaks in harvest other than one-day breaks during heavy rain.
“Last week’s slowdown during the kent/keitt transition was more significant than expected, but they will hit their stride on volume again this week,” Golden said.
According to the USDA, one-layer cartons of Mexican mangoes crossing at Nogales, Ariz., on Aug. 22 were $3.50-$3.75 for keitts, sizes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8; kents were $3.25-$3.50 for sizes 6, 7 and 8. Texas crossings were priced slightly higher, mostly at $3.50-$4 for those varieties/sizes.
Serna said volumes from Mexico have been 3% higher than last year to this point, at 69.65 million boxes compared to 67.84 million boxes in 2017.
Mexico’s season begins in southern states (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacan and Guerrero) followed by the northern states (Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa).
“Back in June during the transition between southern and northern states, there was a gap due to a slower than expected start from the northern states, followed by a shift in the peak of their season,” Serna said. “The projections and import volume were also affected during the second part of the season due to higher than normal fruit abortion caused by drought conditions in the central and northern Pacific areas.
“Weather-related issues are always a risk that can affect the crop suddenly,” Serna said. “At this point, we are not aware of any (current) issues affecting the crop (currently), but we are in contact with the associations to track any issues that may come up.”