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Australia's 'challenging' mango season draws to a close

ABC Rural By Matt Brann

PHOTO: Australia's mango industry has had a tough season. (Carl Curtain)

MAP: Darwin 0800

Australia produced around 7.2 million trays of mangoes in the 2013/14 season, which is down on the previous year and could have been worse if it weren't for a solid Queensland crop.

The season is technically still not over, with small numbers of fruit still to be picked in Queensland, NSW, southern WA and Victoria.

President of Australia's Mango Industry Association (AMIA), Gavin Scurr, says overall it was a tough season for the entire industry.

"It was a challenging one for all growers to be honest,"
he said.

"The Northern Territory had a light crop with major quality issues, and the Queensland season had a pretty big crop, but (because it) followed on from those quality issues in the Territory, initially pre-Christmas the confidence (amongst consumers) wasn't great, so demand wasn't great and hence pricing was a challenge.

"So unfortunately most growers across Australia this season have had a tough one financially."

AUDIO: A tough season for Australia's mango industry(ABC Rural)

Mr Scurr said the Queensland mango industry had more favourable weather conditions last year, but the forecast this coming year is for the complete opposite.

"The Territory has had a fantastic wet season and the mango production areas of Queensland have had a very light wet season.

"It's not too late to get some rain (in Queensland), but I'd certainly expect the Territory to have a cracker crop this year and Queensland's might not be quite as big as this past season."

Mr Scurr says mangoes faced strong competition in the market place during the Christmas period and seasonal fruits such as table grapes and stone fruit experienced good sales growth 'at the expense of mangoes'.

He says the industry is focussed on getting that market share back in 2014/15 and fruit quality is the key.

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