The future’s bright for Mexican mangoes
May 28th, 2014
Mexican mango growers are generally positive about this season, despite lower production levels and saturated North American markets for some.
Sinaloa-based Agricola Organics has reported a crop size around a third smaller than 2013 but owner Angel Tamatis tells www.freshfruitportal.com this is not an issue as it can keep up with demand.
“The total production is about 30% less than last year, but there are plenty of mangoes to supply our clients,” he says
“We’ve got plenty of mangoes. The markets are good, they’re normal. Production is less but we can easily supply the market’s demand.”
In previous years, Agricola Organics’ total crop has been so large that many mangoes never even got picked.
“Here, with the production that we have, there are often mangoes that we don’t harvest, as there’s often more supply than demand,” Tamatis says.
Tamatis also operates in other Pacific regions further south in Mexico, meaning he is able to take advantage of the staggered mango harvests in the country running from February to October.
Due to the country’s size and varying climates, the season for growers in southern regions ends in May, while in the north it comes to a close five months later.
While this often benefits growers in southern regions like Chiapas, a strong season for them can make matters more challenging for producers in further north, who will enter a flooded market.
14 de Marzo San Carlos is a mango producer based in the central Pacific region of Nayarit, whose season runs from mid-May to mid-July. Operations manager Raúl Serrano reports exports are down due to large export volumes elsewhere in the country.
“Mangoes here are seeing a smaller production compared to last year, but the bigger problem is that the markets are currently saturated, both in Canada and the U.S.,” Serrano says.
“Our clients have limited their orders, as producers in Chiapas and Michocan have been sending loads of mangoes over to those markets, which has really saturated them.”
At present, 14 de Marzo San Carlos is exporting around three to four times less than it would usually anticipate for this time of year.
“They [the markets] are the main problem we’re facing at the moment. Normally around this time we would expect to be shipping roughly 12-15 trailers of 20 metric tons each, but at the moment it’s only about four,” Serrano says.
Despite the company’s current struggles, Serrano is optimistic about the coming few months due to both Chiapas’ season drawing to a close and the excellent quality of the crop this year.
“Here in Nayarit, the fruit is in a very good condition. We are very happy, the mangoes are all looking great,” he says.
“Our clients have told us that they expect they will be importing more next week, since by then Chiapas will pretty much have stopped sending their fruit, so the situation will improve a bit for Nayarit.
“Occasionally it is a little harder for things to get going, but we’re doing everything we can, and so we are just waiting for things to improve.”
Tamatis also says he is very pleased with the quality of the mangoes this year, praising the U.S.-based National Mango Board in particular which has been supporting Mexican growers and opening new markets.
“For me, it’s going to be 100% better than last year. It’s good because the Mango Board is doing a good job, so we have got a lot of demand for our mangoes now. They’re always looking to get good quality, and that’s what the focus is on,” Tamatis says.
“Mangoes are produced really professionally now, much because the Mango Board has tried to set the same standard of quality for all.”