The Kent Mango season out of Michoacán, Mexico is close to its halfway point with approximately one month left on the variety. London Fruit typically has an early start on the Kent variety as the company’s fields are located in the middle of a mountain range between two valleys.
This provides a dry tropical climate ideal for growing mangos. The area is better known as ‘Tiera Caliente' (warm earth), which normally puts the Kent variety two weeks ahead of the competition. “Expectations are that volumes out of Michoacán will pick up in week 21, the last week of May. Nayarit, Jalisco and then Southern Sinaloa will start around mid-June and harvest continues through July. Northern Sinaloa is anticipating its start around July 1st and should harvest through August on Kents,” explains Jerry Garcia, Vice President of London Fruit.
The Mexican season so far has been up and down. “Offshore fruit lasted longer than it normally does and there have been shortages in the honey mango supply so far,” said Garcia. “Next week, we should see some relief with the Nayarit and Jalisco areas starting. They have already started cutting and there will be enough supply on all our mango varieties going into the end of May.”
Offshore volume from Guatemala is expected to decline around week 21. With offshore volume - which typically arrives on the East Coast - finishing up and Mexico taking over supply, London Fruit’s East Coast business will pick up. “For week 20, next week, demand is still slow, but in a week’s time we expect a bit more movement, driven by Memorial Day promotions and the foodservice sector further opening up.”
London Fruit hopes to make a $4 dollar average per carton over all sizes and varieties this season but current freight prices could make this difficult. “We need to be an average of $4.00 on all sizes. The more money we can get back to the growers, the better care they will be able to give the trees which will lead to a better size structure and quality next season,” Garcia explained.
This year, London Fruit is celebrating 40 years in the mango business. The company supplies retail and wholesale markets throughout the United States and is looking forward to a successful mango season.