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Ecuador: 15% lower mango harvest expected in 2014

The harvesting of the Ataulfo variety, the first to be ready after a 120 day cycle, anticipates what might happen throughout the season: fewer mangoes per tree. Arturo Coello, administrator of the Bonanza estate, argues that climate change has affected productivity. "There was no uniformity in the flowering and the trees didn't fully bloom," he says. 

The low night temperatures, needed for the flowering, arrived in late August, when they should ideally start in June. Additionally, daytime temperatures were variable. 

Last year, this estate produced 1.8 million boxes of mangoes, while this season it expects to produce between 1.5 and 1.6 million. 

Bonanza's fruit is packed at Agriproduct, on the road to Duale, which it undergoes a hot water treatment. About 31% of the domestic production, which includes 10 varieties, is processed at this plant. 

Other companies, which will start harvesting crops for export next week, have equal or lower estimates compared to last year. Nicolás Rodríguez, manager of SembriExport, has estimated a yield of nearly 650,000 boxes of Tommy Atkins, Kent and Ataulfo, similar to last season. He also affirms that "the flowering has been unstable." 

This lower productivity will be reflected in the country's shipments, with the United States as the largest destination. Johnny Jara, of the Mango Ecuador Foundation, reports that while last season a total of 11.85 million boxes (four kilos each) were exported, this season they will reach between 10.5 and 10.8 million.


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