Ecuador's mango harvest started in the third week of September with the harvest of the yellow varieties, the earliest varieties, followed by the harvest of the Tommy Atkins mango in early October, a red-colored mango that is exported mainly to the United States, where more than 80% of the national production is sent.
This campaign's export volume is expected to fall by 3.8%, amounting to nearly 12.5 million 4-kilo boxes compared to the 13 million boxes shipped in 2019. According to Bernardo Malo, the president of the Mango Ecuador Foundation, the drop in production is linked to the climatic conditions registered this year. "The weather plays an important role. There was cold weather at certain moments that the crop needed a little heat; that has an impact on production," Malo said. Besides, the mango is an alternating crop, which means its production fluctuates year after year.
In Ecuador, 100 farms grow mangoes for export of the Tommy Atkins, Ataulfo, and Kent varieties, totaling some 5,500 cultivated hectares. According to Jorge Luis Pino, the commercial manager of a container transport agency, based on the averages of the last three seasons, the sector exports an estimated 2,500 containers of mango.
The impact generated by COVID-19 on consumption habits has also impacted this fruit's purchase structure, producers stated. The supermarket and delivery purchase channels are expected will grow more than the sales at squares and local markets as there are consumers who avoid going to these spaces.
Malo also said they hoped prices would be healthy for the sector in this campaign (September-January). "At the moment the transition with Brazil, which is the country that precedes us in production, is adequate. It's not abrupt, and that is a good thing. We expect prices to remain at good levels," he said.