The picking of Peruvian mango has started, and this week the first container will be filled for transport to Europe. The expectation was that Peru would be much earlier, but they are only one or two weeks earlier than usual. Last week, the mango congress was in Peru, during which the harvest expectations were discussed. “The volumes are 40 per cent higher this year, but sizes are smaller,” according to Diana Sajami Tavára, from FCE Export from Peru.
“Normally, Europe buys medium sizes 6, 7 and 8. It becomes trickier from size 9. However, the sizes expected are 9, 10 and 12. Fortunately, the US prefers smaller sizes, and we also have some lines there. Unfortunately, when exporting to the US, you have a lot regulations to deal with, such as warm water treatment.”
Competition and weather
“Peru is slightly earlier this year, but Brazil started a bit later, meaning they will also continue a bit longer in December.” In January and February that competition no longer exists. Besides, farmers have discovered new areas where they can cultivate mangoes. “Because of these areas, the season is stretched slightly, but we will have to await what the quality will be.”
The cultivators have not been spoiled in recent years. Last year, the warm weather caused by El Niño had a big effect on the mangoes. “The warm weather caused the mangoes to ripen sooner, meaning they therefore had high brix levels in an earlier stage. Most of the volume could not be shipped because of this.”
Some cultivators in the North, where the mango is grown, have therefore decided to cultivate grapes in addition to mangoes, and others have decided to switch completely. “However, the area has not decreased, but that is because of the new cultivation areas, which are slightly more southern than the current production areas.”
“Despite the influences of the weather and other circumstances, we feel optimistic about this season. We have been working with customers from Spain, the UK and the Netherlands for years, and we will continue doing so this year as well.”