Prices of mangos are high for this time of year, particularly in Europe, it would seem. The political unrest following the recent election in major suppling country Brazil has meant that the usual shipments from this country are lacking. Recent rainfall has also affected the harvest, slowing it down and further limiting the current supply. Europe itself has also had its own issues with the weather, with the heatwaves last summer resulting in an oversupply of smaller caliber mangos, with a similar scenario in South Africa, where the harvest has also started late. Demand however, remain good across the board at the moment, which, combined with the lower supply, has pushed up prices for mangos across the board.

Netherlands: Little supply, high prices of mangos
There are currently good prices in the mango market. "There is quite a lot of demand and supply from Brazil is very limited. That currently results in a price level around 8-9 euros," says a Dutch importer.  "The next few weeks will also be tight, with the unrest in the country following the elections and the fact that picking cannot take place on certain days due to rain as main reasons. All this has resulted in low supply in the market.

We welcome the price upturn, but it is also much needed. Container prices are about twice as high as before and packaging and labour costs are also a lot higher. Retail will therefore not escape having to pay more for fruit," the importer notes. The expectation is a stable price level in November and December, where we do expect prices to take a step back in December."

Belgium: High prices due to good demand and low supply
The supply of mangos is struggling at the moment. "The market is good, but that has more to do with low volumes coming in," says an importer. "It results in low supply but relatively fine demand. As a result, prices remain at a high level."

"Spanish mangos were finished much earlier than expected and supplies from Brazil, which should be the main country now, have been stalled by the whole issue around weather conditions and the elections. As a result, quite a lot less has come in than should have come in this period." Whether the situation will stay like this, however, the trader expects, remains to be seen. "Peru is already starting to load sparsely this week. Volumes may pick up as a result, but then again you run the risk that things could be completely reversed within 4-5 weeks. Indeed, if Peru picks up and Brazil starts sending larger volumes after all, it could very quickly lead to oversupply again. The advantage is that we are heading towards Christmas again around that period. Demand will also traditionally go up again then."

Still, the market will continue to fluctuate considerably in the coming period. "From January onwards, we see that demand for exotics will normally drop again. If those high volumes then persist, the price will really dip down sharply. However, it's still a matter of guesswork. Only I expect the suppliers, from South America in particular, to be more careful. With current freight rates of around $10,000, you're sitting on $2 freight for a box of mangos. If they then leave here for 3 or 4 euros, nothing more is earned. Now you are in a market of around 7 euros; then you can suffer 2 euros freight."

Germany: Good demand for wholesale mangos, prices normal
At the moment, there are mangos from Spain, Brazil and airfreighted goods from Peru on the German market. "Spanish Kent has a very good taste and is also fiber-free. Usually, we have the Osteen variety from Spain, but its quality leaves a lot to be desired right now. Accordingly, we are very satisfied with the Kent mangos," says a wholesaler.

The demand for mangos in the German wholesale trade is currently good. Meanwhile the price situation is within the normal range. "The price for the sea freight goods is currently between 0.80 and 0.90 euros per piece, depending on the caliber, and the airfreight goods are at 2.50 euros per piece. The tree-ripened mangos are priced about in the middle."

Italy: Difficult growing season for Italian mangos
"There are currently very high prices in buying and selling, although exporters would prefer that they were higher. Low consumption, however, does not push the price range to these higher levels. As far as origins are concerned, Spanish mangos are finished and Brazilian mangos are available, arriving by sea, with varieties such as Palmer and Tommy Atkins. The average selling price of imported mangos by sea is around €8.50 per 4 kg box," a wholesaler from northern Italy says. "In addition, the campaign for Peruvian mangos imported by sea is about to start, while the product by air has just arrived. The latter shows dizzying prices, both because we are at the beginning of the campaign and volumes are very limited, and because airfares are very expensive."

The season of the Sicilian mango, an origin increasingly appreciated by those who prefer to consume fruit from Italian production, is drawing to a close. "This year we had to deal with a difficult season," a producer explains. "We suffered bad weather damage that caused the death of several plants due to the low temperatures recorded last winter. In September the Italian market was invaded by Spanish product with really low prices, reaching 1.30 euro/kg, against our much higher quotations. In that context, we only survived thanks to the loyalty of high-end retailers. The seasonality of Sicilian mangos is from mid-August to October for varieties like Kensington Pride, Glenn and Maya. With the Kensington Pride it goes up to the first ten days of October, while the Kent and Keitt varieties go up to November, but in small quantities."

"This year the Sicilian product has been of very good quality and the consumer is starting to get to know and recognise it on the fruit and vegetable shelves," the producer continues. "Presentation is of great importance and must focus on a fruit with a thick skin, consistent stem and an attractive colour appearance."

Mangos are bought by 16% of Italian families: 3.7 million families buy the conventional product, less 800,000 families choose organic. Seasonality sees a fairly constant distribution over the months, with particularly high peaks in December, and particularly low ones in July and August (GfK Consumer Panel data).

Spain: Small calibers push down prices
The Spanish mango season has ended 7 to 10 days earlier than usual as a result of a premature harvest, higher demand and lower competition from other origins, particularly from Brazil.

The constant heat waves and lack of rains led to an abundance of small sizes, which has been the biggest handicap to keep prices at a satisfactory level for the growers. The harvest of the Osteen variety, the most planted in Spain, came all at once this year, with mainly small calibers, and that pushed the prices down as many retailers wouldn’t accept those specs even though one of the best years in terms of quality has been reported. “The usual sales channels did not expect to get smaller mangos and that has led to a later activation of the demand, even though consumers haven't noticed" says an exporter from Malaga. At the end of October, many retailers noticed Spanish mangos boosted mango sales but the season was nearly ending and the volumes were limited, so prices raised significantly. Nevertheless the price average for the entire season has been lower than last year for medium and small sizes, and similar to last year price levels in case of bigger sizes.

South Africa: Up to 20% less production in regions affected by heatwave
The South African mango harvest will commence shortly but the start of the harvest is late in the early Onderberg, Komati and Malelane areas of Mpumalanga, where the early Tommy Atkins crop is reckoned to be 10% to 15% down in volume as a result of the heatwave of a month ago.

In the main mango area of Hoedspruit (Limpopo), which starts late December or early January, a reduction in the Tommy Atkins harvest of 15% to 20% is estimated. Fruit set had already been poorly on this cultivar as a result of temperature fluctuations during flowering, and then the heatwave caused further fruit drop. This will also have an impact on the sizing of Tommy Atkins.

Later mango cultivars appear to have been less affected by the heatwave: the Shelly crop looks better than last year, as do Kent and Keitt.

In all, the mango crop probably won’t be larger than last year. Reduced volumes should support a firmer mango price this season.

China: Focus on independent exports
China's main mango producing area is Panzhihua in Sichuan Province. Production runs from May to December. The mangos are known for their large size, with 60% of fruit counting for more than 1 kg. This had a negative effect on prices, as large size fruits are harder to sell. This year in March it snowed during the flowering period of the mango, this reduced overall production with 50% of early season mangos. Late-season mangos have been less affected.

A new development is that in the past, Panzhihua mangos were exported through third-party trading companies. However, in the last two years, local mango companies have begun to contact overseas companies and try to export to overseas markets on their own. Export this year are strong, with support from local government. Key export markets are Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, where Chinese mangos are available in the off-season period in August and September.

China imports more mangos than it exports. China imports mangos from Vietnam, Thailand, Australian, Peru and Ecuador, among other countries. Mango imports increased by a staggering 20% over the last five years.

North America: Steady supplies but more small sizes than usual
Mango supplies are steadily arriving out of both Brazil and Ecuador currently. “They’re plentiful, especially for smaller fruit--10s and 12s. Large fruit is very tight--6, 7s and 8s and some 9s,” says one shipper, adding it’s Tommy Atkins and Ataulfo mangos out of Ecuador and mostly Tommy Atkins out of Brazil.”

He notes that the crop sizes are fairly similar to last year. However, the season began when Europe was in a bit of a slump on pricing so some fruit was being diverted to the U.S. “Now that seems to have changed a little bit,” he says. “The market there is getting better so I think more fruit will be diverted back over there rather than being sent to the U.S.” He adds that as far as supplies for the U.S. go, there are a few sourcing regions at hand. “We have options now to go to other places when the market gets a little better. Mexico is totally out of the way here in the U.S. so it’s up to what’s left out of Brazil and the continuation of the Ecuadorian program that will probably last through the end of the year.”

However, there could be delays in shipping from both Brazil and Ecuador ahead thanks to political issues. “Or they could just ship less because they’re not able to get out as much with what’s going on,” he says. 

As for demand, it’s beginning to pick up with advertising activity starting up. “People were still on Mexican fruit and now they’ve switched 100 percent to either Brazil or Ecuador,” he says. However, at this time of the year, the produce aisles are increasingly more focused on Thanksgiving items which can slow demand for mangos. “But as it gets towards the end of the year, things pick up. Especially in the New Year when people start their diets off with wanting to eat healthy again, so things get busy again.”

Overall, pricing on mangos is fairly similar to last year. “Even with the added costs on the grower side for shipping--logistics costs have almost doubled since last year,” he says, noting that pricing will likely stay where it’s at for the time being.

Looking ahead, Peruvian mangos will come into the market starting late November-early December but will probably peak in supplies late January-early February on a normal to slightly bigger crop. Mexico will start again in January with Ataulfos and then red mangos in the middle of February.

Peru: Logistical concerns mark mango season
The Peruvian mango season begins in the Piura region, the country's main producing region, which last season, between September 2021 and April 2022, exported 327,568 tons of mango in its different presentations (fresh, frozen and processed). According to data from Sunat, mango exports from Peru represented a 6% growth in the volume shipped; however, despite this year-on-year increase -which did not allow exports to exceed pre-pandemic levels- Peruvian exporters faced a complex situation linked to high freight prices and a shortage of containers which, as recently warned by the Peruvian Association of Producers and Exporters of Mango (APEM), continues to be a concern in this new campaign that is just beginning.

The union recalled that agro-exporters in the 2021-2022 campaign suffered a high rise in the price of maritime freight. “The shipping cost went from 40% to 80% of the cost of packaging and shipping. This caused the result of the business to be negative and, in some cases, the bankruptcy of companies that could not afford the costs.” In the 2021-2022 campaign, the sector also suffered from the "reduction in quality and the delay in crossing the different markets". The response of the shipping companies in cases of delays was "very slow" and "with little chance of success in the face of claims." As a result of these delays and quality claims, insurers have also increased their premiums for fresh fruit, the association explained.

“Although it is true that we are coming from two seasons of great pressure, we know that logistical problems have decreased, so we believe that maritime freight rates should drop significantly." APEM concluded the statement by noting that despite a reduction in freight rates for the most congested routes (Asia-Pacific), these have not been received for the 2022-2023 mango campaign.

Currently, the Peruvian mango has authorized phytosanitary requirements to export to 63 international markets, although Europe and North America are its main destinations: the Netherlands is in first position (with a 40% share), followed by the US (27%), Spain (6%), Canada and the United Kingdom (4% each), South Korea, Chile and Russia (3% each). The rest of the destinations bring together the remaining 7% share.

Australia: High hopes for Australian mango season
The Australian mango season is in full swing, with the peak of the season nearing. According to the latest Crop Forecast data, released by an industry body, last week's national dispatched volume was 479,000 trays. It was a slight drop from the 557,000 trays produced the previous week, which was the highest this season. The North Queensland growing regions have just begun harvesting for this year, adding to the Northern Territory and Kununurra meaning that volumes are expected to climb over the coming weeks. With the forecasts published until the end of the calendar year, it is estimated that this year's production will remain above the volumes in 2021/22. Despite some region's forecasts still to be added, but by early March the total trays to market is expected to reach at least 8.7 million trays nationally. The AMIA is reporting that the early fruit out of the Bowen/Burdekin region is of high quality and appears very clean. South East Queensland will start production in mid-December, but some growers have been impacted by recent hailstorms, and are evaluating crop loss and crop damage continues.

Next week: Global Market Overview Ginger!

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