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Uphill battle for Philippine mango exporters
The Philippines has always been a strong player in Asia as a nation that exports mangoes. It is quite famous for its fresh and dried mangoes. Unfortunately, the country has been hit with some misfortunes that have raised some production issues for the country.
According to Robert Chua, the owner of Robbie trading in Cebu City Philippines, “The volume of exports this year is very low. This is because the country is unable to produce enough export quality mangoes. Less than 10% meet the quality standards. So it has been a tough time for companies such as mine. This has been the most expensive mangoes have gotten. In Manila the cost of mangoes have risen to around 2 – 4 euros per kilo, this before was only around 1.30 for a kilo. This catastrophe has led some exporters and producers to focus on other local fruits instead of mangoes.”
Mangoes are very sensitive products. The Philippines has been experiencing issues in terms of pests and weather since last year. “Bad weather has contributed to our low volume of exports, but the biggest crises we are facing right now are pests such as the Western Seed Bug and the Pigeon Fly, who have been destroying our fruits. Our local pesticides are no longer strong enough to get rid of them and the pesticide authority has a ban on imported pesticides at the moment."
The Philippines’ traditional trading partners are Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Singapore; which have big appetites for the Philippine mango. “The issue is that since we have not been able to meet our customers’ demands, other countries have been taking our place. Thailand has moved in and is leading the mango trade in the region for both exporting and processing. Even Brazilian mangoes have been entering the Japanese market."
Despite the tough times there is still hope for the Philippines mango industry. “Although the government is not really proactive about looking for a solution, they are hosting a mango conference. Companies such as mine are rallying to have imported pesticides legally available to deal with the issue at hand. Since the Philippines is widely known for the quality of its mangoes, once this issue is dealt with, the industry will rebound," concludes Chua.
For more information:
Robbie Trading (Philippines)
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