Temperatures on the northern coast of Peru could play a very important role in this mango campaign. The low temperatures recorded (especially in Piura) have generated a great flowering of the trees; however, if the weather continues this cold, it could be harmful to the fruit, stated Cesar Morocho, the president of the Peruvian Association of Mango Exporters (APEM). "Mango trees require temperatures below 16°C to blossom and minimum temperatures above 22°C for the fruit to set. Unfortunately, temperatures are currently lower than that," he said.
Despite this, Morocho predicts this season's volume will be similar to last year's volume when 241,000 tons of fresh mango were shipped. “What happens in the coming days will be of great importance to the campaign. I think that, if too much fruit doesn't fall, because they're going to compete with each other, producers will have small-caliber fruit. In addition, the season could start a couple of weeks earlier than usual; something that has already happened in Mexico, Brazil, and Ecuador," he said.
Markets for Peru's mango
The United States normally concentrates 30% to 35% of Peruvian mango exports and Europe 60% to 65%. In this campaign, however, producers must take into account the uncertainty there is due to the availability of shipping lines, the availability of containers, and freight prices, he added.
The United States and Europe absorb practically all of the fruit exported by Peru. "There will probably be a time in which we saturate both markets so we should aim for other destinations such as Asia, which is a spectacular market where our fruit would fare very well. However, we have to solve logistical issues because the mango has a short shelf life, and shipping the product to Hong Kong or Shanghai by sea takes 36 to 40 days -not including the days that the product remains at the port of destination before it's unloaded-. Right now, making the enormous effort to move the fruit to this destination is pointless when it's going to deteriorate very quickly because of the transit times," he said.
"We must find new destination markets, but -at the same time- we need to discover or explore new mechanisms for protecting the fruit, such as controlled or modified atmosphere, ozone, or another method that allows prolonging its lifespan."