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Unpredictability in growing seasons causes market fluctuations

Mango marketplace affected by weather in Mexico

The mango market has been less than stellar over the past year. Several factors have played a part in the current programs being offered. “We’ve had a lot of weather (issues) – that seems to be playing a bigger part in the grand scheme of things,” said Tom Hall of Freska Produce. Where as at one time markets were generally more predictable (including more consistent weather patterns) today’s more frequent fluctuations create more unrest. This also includes seasons; traditionally they started and ended at designated times yet today they can extend or fall short. “We see a lot more swings in our market than I’d like.” 

Seasons can be unpredictable
During the course of a season, transitioning from the Mexico’s southern areas to more North, there are differences incurred along the way. “Everything used to be very consistent,” Hall said. “You could tell when one area was going to (continue until) then you start transitioning, but all of a sudden you get an area where you expect everything to be good but it’s been dry, or they’ve had poor weather or the flowering wasn’t right. Whatever the case and it tends to cause problems with volumes and predicting how markets are going to play out.” 

Volumes affected by either late or early starts
Volumes can be markedly affected. His season in Mexico went until almost October last year and he said Ecuador started earlier than normal. “You have a market that’s going longer and when markets have additional fruit, that becomes kind of a mess.” Currently Freska Produce is in full swing with the Mexican mango program, which will continue through the summer, until finishing in November. Then they’ll transition into their offshore programs: Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. 

Changes are happening within the business marketplace also; Hall feels there’s a lot of consolidation going on, creating some financial struggles between large corporations and smaller business owners. With larger businesses buying out others, he says it’s creating a smaller arena of tighter competition. “There are more of us trying to go after the same guys. It seems like everybody’s buying everybody and we’re all fighting for the same business.” 

What’s not of concern is consumers’ consumption of mango. “It’s been consistent and it will continue to grow for the foreseeable future,” said Hall. “I don’t see that plateauing. You’re seeing more developments in fresh cut, more mangos in smoothies, salads, etc. they’re becoming more of a staple.” 

For more information: 
Tom Hall 
Freska Produce 
Ph: 805-650-1040 

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