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Grégoire Fanost, SIIM

Mangoes back in the spotlight

Mangoes from West Africa will soon be arriving in Europe. Harvesting began on April 12th in Ivory Coast, and the first containers transported by MSC are due to arrive at European ports (Dunkirk, Antwerp, Rotterdam and London) from week 18. After a difficult start to the 2024 campaign, with a production shortfall and high prices, the mango market is set to return to some normality. Grégoire Fanost, head of the mango and ripe fruit sectors at SIIM, a subsidiary of the OMER-DECUGIS & CIE group, gives an initial overview of the new mango campaign and the main issues at stake.

SIIM has chosen to position itself on the 4 segments of the BAMA range (Banana, Pineapple, Mango, Avocado, which represent nearly 92% of the exotic offer) for "complete representativeness."

Return to standard volumes in 2024
Last year, the West African mango production was cut back due partly to poor weather conditions (-25%). This year should mark a return to "standard volumes, with almost 30,000 tons exported to Europe, which is close to the levels of two years ago." The campaign covers four production countries (Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal). It is expected to run until the end of July. "We are the only operators to offer all 4 origins as producers," explains Grégoire Fanost. Thanks to "abundant and tight flowering, the campaign should get off to a strong and rapid start, enabling us to market the majority of volumes with the best quality and freshness." The famously abundant "mango rains" in March have also yielded nice calibers. "We usually go for a 9/10 size but this year, we will be going for an 8/9 size, perfectly suited to supermarket sales."

"We need to give consumers the taste for mangoes again"
"Everything is set for a great campaign this year, after several difficult years for the mango sector," according to Grégoire Fanost. "Spain has lost nearly 70% of its Osteen mango volumes. Operators have done their best to compensate for this decline with Brazilian Keitt, which remains a less popular variety. The drop in supply, combined with a strong demand, logically drove prices up. Peru got off to a late start, with production down by almost 70%, along with quality and shelf-life problems." Since September 2023, mango prices have reached record levels. Although mangoes rank 4th among the most consumed exotic fruits in France, the quality problems and high prices have taken their toll on sales. Consumers have turned away from the product. As a result, sales dropped by 50% in the 1st quarter of 2024. The stakes are therefore high this year for the African campaign. "We need to restore our consumers' appetite for mangoes and attract them by returning to normal price levels."

West African mangoes are marketed by SIIM under the Dibra brand.

In April 2023, the Omer-Decugis & Cie group had announced the reinforcement of its logistics capacities in Ivory Coast for the benefit of mangoes, with the creation of a new packing station and the opening of a second shipping line for mangoes departing from the port of San Pedro in partnership with MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company). "This station, operated by the Sopromat subsidiary created for the occasion, complements the existing stations in Ivory Coast (Poro region, towns of Korhogo and Sinématiali), as well as in Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Omer-Decugis & Cie now covers the whole of Ivory Coast's mango-growing territory in the District des Savanes, and consolidates its position as the leading exporter of African mangoes marketed under the Dibra brand, through its SIIM subsidiary," according to a press release from the group.

For more information:
SIIM (Société Internationale d'Importation)

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