This year, the country's mango production and demand should increase. According to the Peruvian Association of Mango Producers (Promango), the sector will end 2017 with a one-digit advance compared to last year in fresh produce. In addition, the sector does not expects climate issues to have a major impact on the next harvest stage, which begins next month with the Kent variety (which has the highest demand) and culminates in mid-February.
It should be noted that, according to data from the Association of Exporters (ADEX), between January and August, shipments of mangos and their derivatives totaled more than US $213 million (i.e. 7.3% more than in the same period of 2016).
The producers have high expectations for 2018. Angel Gamarra, the director of Promango estimated that production would increase by more than 10%, as nearly 1,000 hectares planted two years ago in the area of Olmos (Lambayeque) would start producing fruits.
"Investments have already been made in these areas and we estimate that they will increase the present production by around 20 thousand tons more," he said.
75% of the mango production is centered in the north of the country, in the Valley of San Lorenzo (Tambo Grande district, Piura), as well as in Lambayeque and, in fewer quantities, in Casma (Accash).
"There are about 18 thousand to 20 thousand hectares in the valley of San Lorenzo, which produce 240 thousand tons. 60% of that total is exported," stated Gamarra. The manager said that they had not opened any new markets but that they had consolidated their newest markets, such as Japan and South Korea.
In fact, in this last market, the mango is one of the most luxurious fruits. A six-pack of mango can cost more than $ 9.6 dollars. Meanwhile a six-pack of oranges costs US $ 6.16 and a watermelon costs no less than US $4, according to data from ADEX.
The main export product is the fresh mango (US $ 138.74 million), which accounted for 65.1% of the total, followed by canned mango and mango juice, with 28% and 7%, respectively.
The companies also innovate in the use of mango as an input for other presentations, such as tomato bruschetta with palm hearts and mangoes, mashed mango, yogurt, and dehydrated mango, among others.
The challenges of exporting to China
Mango exporters are struggling to make shipments to the Chinese market because they still don't have the logistics to carry the product in less time than what it currently takes them, stated the Peruvian Mango Exporters Association (APEM).
The president of APEM, Alberto Irazola, said that, due to the hydrothermal treatment that the fruit receives, the mango should be shipped in 17 days to China, but that it currently took a boat about 30 days to arrive to that destination.
However, Irazola is optimistic and stated that exports would grow by 10% in the current campaign because the weather conditions were good.
At the national level, there are 8 thousand to 9 thousand mango producers.
The 4-kilo box is sold abroad for an average of US $ 4.5 to US $ 7.5, and producers make an average return of 40 cents per kilo.