Nicaragua highlights the export potential of mangoes and citrus fruits

Nicaragua's mango and citrus fruits have registered significant growth in sales abroad. Despite being non-traditional export products, these exports have generated US $72.61 million in revenue between 2012 and 2017, according to data from the Center for Export Procedures (Cetrex).

Citrus exports have achieved the most important export values, as last year alone they amounted to US $13.52 million. According to Cetrex, between 2012 and 2017 exports of this product have reached US $48 million. 

Cetrex includes oranges, mandarins, and lemons in the citrus category. However, the export volume of mandarin and lemons have been so insignificant that when we speak of citrus, it really refers to sweet and fresh oranges, stated the APEN.

The general manager of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua (APEN) said that mango and citrus fruit exports to other markets, such as Europe and the United States, could increase. 

Arana also said that the mango sector had ambitious expansion plans, as they planned to increase productivity by 20% next year, and the planted area by up to 80% in the next four years.

"They are aiming for the United States market. They also seek to diversify markets and export to new niches with new varieties of mango that are desired by the European and Japanese market, to add value to exports," he said. 

He also said that the entrepreneurs of the citrus sector should invest more in areas to take advantage of the US market. "Florida has been affected by climate change, which opens an opportunity for us to continue expanding our markets, we are optimistic about the future of the sector," he added.

According to APEN, the country has exported citrus to six countries. Exports to three of those countries have been derisory, as the amounts sent do not add up to US $1,000. The main destination has been Costa Rica, with US $48.88 million between 2012 and 2017, i.e. 99.95% of the total exported. 

The average price per kilogram of citrus fruit exported has ranged from a minimum of US $0.08/kg to a maximum of US $0.20/kg in 2017. Meanwhile, in mangoes, the minimum was US $0.53/kg and the maximum was US $0.69/kg.

According to the APEN, between 2012 and 2017, Nicaraguan mango exports totaled 23.70 million dollars. The year with the highest exports was 2015, when mango exports amounted to US $ 4.42 million.

According to APEN, the United States, the largest importer of mangoes in the world, is the main destination of the Nicaraguan mango. With an average annual growth rate of 10.2%, the United States accounts for around 30% of total mango imports.


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