Israel’s mango season started slower and more than a week later as the Tommy variety was not ready with only smaller sizes of Shelly and Noah variety mangoes that were being shipped at the start of July.
“A slightly bigger crop than last year is expected due to some new mango growers who have come on board,” says Nir Harel, Mango product manager for Galilee Export in Israel. Sending the Israeli mangoes and other produce to their usual main destination, namely Russia, is also complicated due to logistical challenges according to exporters.
“We started with the Noah variety last week, but with only small quantities. This week it will be a bit slower because of the Muslim holiday, although we are continuing slowly. All packhouses are low in manpower due to this holiday. We will only export a small quantity of Noah’s this week. In week 29 we should start warming up with more varieties such as Palmer, Shelly and the rest of the Noah’s. This will herald the official start of the season, which is expected to last until week 37 or so.”
Galilee Export is the second biggest exporter from Israel. They expect to export about 5 500 tons of mangoes this season. “We expect a bigger export season than last year, but not significantly more. Production is not much higher. We have a few new growers with new plantations who joined us. The growth in volumes will be due to the newcomers,” says Harel.
“We are aiming to export to many overseas destinations. The war is making shipping to Russia challenging where we already have some orders. Our main destinations are Europe with 90% of the volume and the UK. The market is very short in Europe. This is due to quantities from South America that are lower than expected including from Senegal. We are starting the season on a good level of prices as demand is good and supply short. Prices are around €8 or even more in Europe. It is good start price wise. However, the Euro-Shekel exchange rate is not good at the moment,” explains Harel.
Another grower and exporter, who did not want to be named, commented “Russia is a big market for us, we export a lot of produce to that market from avocadoes to mangoes. Our trade flow is badly impacted by the war, because Russia is such a very important market for us. Fortunately Asia, which appreciates the quality and products from Israel, is a growing and also very important market for us. We plan to continue with Russia, but we remain very worried about the situation. We have clients who want to continue with us. Logistics wise and the transfer of money is challenging. We have the trust of our clients, we try to find the right way to trade for everything.”
Most of Israel’s mangoes are grown around the Sea of Galilee Hills region. Harel and his quality managers regularly travel to the Galilee Hills to check the quality of mangoes on the trees.