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Manbulloo Mangoes

Tough season for Australian mangoes

The Australian mango season is proving a difficult one to say the least. Overall the expectation is that the NT crop is about 1.7 million trays versus 4.3 million trays last year. Significant losses have been seen in the Northern Territory and the crop in Queensland is also between 20 – 40% less than most years.

Marie Piccone, Managing Director of one of Australia's biggest mango producers, Manbulloo Ltd said some producers are describing this season as a complete crop failure. "In Katherine some growers have 60% of their normal crop but others have as little as 20%. It has been a "hard fought" growing season, just getting the trees to flower was hard work as was keeping the fruit on the trees until harvest."

The cause of much of the trouble was the weather, strong destructive winds in August, an unusually warm winter, and all this after the very dry wet season. Piccone explains, "Normally we have good cloud cover through January, February and March but instead we had intense sunshine and very little rainfall which led to leaf flushing happening later at the wrong time. In fact it has been hard going right from the end of harvesting last year."

It is possible that the Calipso variety will fair better than the rest, the Kensington Pride and R2E2 varieties are certainly well down. Even Florida and Asian varieties have been affected.

The effect of this is higher prices due to the light supply, but even this will not compensate the growers most of whom will run at a loss this season. The cost of production, harvesting and packing this year has been high and costs such as labour, power and materials have all increased. Packers, wholesalers, exporters and retailers will also feel the pinch.

Queensland has fared a bit better with most regions having a light to medium crop – some growers have had a bigger fruit drop across all varieties.

Manbulloo Mangoes are exporting this season despite the lack of fruit and high costs of production. "We are committed to our global customers even though there will be reduced (if any profit) in some export markets this season," explains Piccone. The company exports mainly to China, Korea, Singapore, The Middle East, Canada and Russia.

"Demand for Australian mangoes is strong, some want them at any price – within reason….. The most popular Australian varieties are Kensington Pride and R2E2. Honey Gold is being introduced to customers and is gaining popularity based on its flavour profile. The Kensington Pride tastes magnificent and fetches a premium price, the R2E2 also has great flavour and is highly regarded in Asia and the Middle East for its extreme size and red blush."

Manbulloo is committed to the Chinese market and has been exporting there for six years, "We provide high quality fruit to China and the demand is increasing every year. Korea is another growing market for us, we are the only ones sending Australian mangoes to this country, last year saw a slight blip due to "teething problems" but this season exports will be around 50 tonnes.

Manbulloo export mangoes under the Company brand as well as 'Mangoes From Our Farm'.

For more information:
Marie Piccone
Manbulloo Ltd
Tel: + 61 7 3860 6990
Mob: + 61417 616 476

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