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A short, late Peruvian crop should send mango prices up in January.

12/10/2014 09:40:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Courtesy Central American Produce

Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce was winding down its Brazilian and Ecuadorian mango deals in December, said Sabine Henry, saleswoman.

“Brazil will be done this week, and the pick is done in Ecuador,” Henry said on December 8th.

 “We expect the market to get stronger.”

Jesse Sepulveda, salesman for Los Angeles-based Vision Produce Co., said Ecuadorian prices went up before Thanksgiving, came down after and were starting to rise again in the first half of December.

Shipments from Ecuador already were starting to decline in early December, with the final fruit expected to ship in early to mid-January, Sepulveda said.

Very small volumes of Ecuadorian kents and tommy atkins should be available into the first week of January, Henry said. Sizing will be on the big side as the deal tapers off, so she expects stronger demand for 10s and 12s.

While the Ecuadorian deal is ending on time, Brazil is finishing early and Peru should start late, Henry said.

That will likely produce a supply gap the first week of January, she said.

“The market should remain decent from now until the end of January.”

Tom Hall, sales manager for Oxnard, Calif.-based Freska Produce International LLC, looked for a big change in the New Year.

“In the first week of January the markets should firm up substantially. We hope to see some Peruvian fruit the first week of January, but it will be the end of January before we see volumes start to peak.”

Markets should return to more seasonally normal levels in February, Hall said.

Markets will be tight until about mid-January, when Peruvian fruit begins shipping in volume for Kingston Fresh, Idaho Falls, Idaho, said Ken Nabal, president.

While Peruvian volumes will be down about 20%, Nabal said, the entry of better-eating kents in the market will be a boon.

“It’s been tough the last couple of weeks with markets and quality. Things should improve when we get into Peru.”

On Dec. 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $5.50-6 for one-layer flats of tommy atkins from Ecuador, comparable to last year at the same time.

Vision’s Peruvian deal typically kicks off at the end of December, Sepulrala said. This year, it will be closer to early to mid-January.

In addition to a late start, Peruvian volumes will be about 15% to 30% lower than last season, which should mean higher prices, he said.

“The consensus is that the market out of Peru will be stronger than it currently is.”

Peruvian volumes won’t likely ramp up until the end of January or early February, with kents and a few ataulfos dominating the beginning of the deal, Henry said.

Sizing out of Peru should be normal and quality good, Henry and Sepulrala said.

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