Change expected in second quarter

US: Malanga enjoying good production and solid demand

Supplies of Malanga are currently steady, as good weather in the growing regions in Ecuador and Mexico ensures good production. All three main varieties are available at this time of year, with Coco the only one currently grown in Mexico.

"Supplies are currently coming along well," said Jose Roggiero, of Freshway Produce. "Malanga Blanca and Lila are both grown in Ecuador where we have seen excellent growing conditions, resulting in good, steady supply. Conditions have also been good in the Mexican growing regions, where Malanga Coco is in production."

Market strong on the back of solid demand
Willie Sanchez of Golden Crown Depot, also noted the good weather conditions, adding they have observed a strong market on Malanga Lila. "Excellent weather conditions in Ecuador is ensuring good production," he said, "The Lila has been seeing strong demand and the Miami market is currently higher on this variety. However, customers are being well receptive on all varieties."

The market remains firm on all varieties, seeing an upswing in step with good levels of demand. Higher costs may lead to the market rising further in the short term. "The market has gone up since the start of the year," Roggiero said. "There were occasions when we experienced a shortage of supply, however it was more related to the logistics side, rather than a spike in demand. All varieties though are showing good overall demand, with each variety enjoying their own market."

As the year progresses, expectations are that prices are going to rise. "We are expecting that prices will rise higher towards the end of February and into March due to higher production costs, especially in South America," Roggiero continued. "Looking further, the forecast is that starting the 2nd quarter of the year, we may see less supply in the market and higher prices due to shortage in production out of Ecuador."

Good post-harvest practices ensure quality
While the rainy season in Ecuador has benefited Malanga production, growers noted that it requires additional care after harvest to ensure quality remains high, especially for its sea journey and into supermarkets.

"With the rainfall, we find it important to have good post-harvesting practices," Roggiero said. "Malanga need to be dried well which means they need access to good ventilation throughout the journey. This begins in our packing house facility in Ecuador, which is Primus GFS certified to ensure high standards of quality."

Roggiero noted that overall demand for the product continues to rise, observing that customers are looking for different flavors. "The popularity of Malanga is always increasing," he said. "They are high in fiber and have a bolder flavor than potatoes. Malanga provide a great alternative for foodies and those seeking to try new flavors in their cooking."

For more information:
Jose Roggiero
Freshway Produce
Tel: +1 (786) 300-4485

Willy Sanchez
Golden Crown Depot
Tel: +1 (305) 640-1799

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