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MEXICO 2015 : Ataulfos gain favor among importers

March 09, 2015 | 3:18 pm EDT

Ataulfos continue to make gains among U.S. importers of Mexican mangoes.

As the Mexican mango season got underway, shippers were sending mostly yellow-skinned ataulfos, said Manuel Michel, executive director of the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board.

That promised to change quickly.

“We will also start receiving haden and tommy atkins shortly,”
Michel said Feb. 26.

Chris Ciruli, a partner in Nogales, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros. LLC, said his company will begin sourcing round mangoes about the third week of the month.

The Peruvian round deals as of late February had suffered from the port strikes on the West Coast, with quality issues a product of long transit times in some cases, Ciruli said.

“It’s been a little difficult with the strikes and the boats stuck out there. There’s been a wide variety of product.”

That has intensified demand for early-season Mexican product, Ciruli said.

For the southern growing region, which should ship into early May, the varietal breakdown should be approximately 50% ataulfos, 30% tommys and 20% hadens, he said.

Perhaps the most noticeable varietal trend in the Mexican mango industry in recent years has been the growth in ataulfos, which Michel said have gained more acceptance in the U.S.

“Ataulfos have increased their mango market share from approximately 33% in 2012 to a projected 50% in 2015,”
Michel said, citing Empacadoras de Mangos de Exportacion AC (EMEX) data.

Ataulfos have definitely become a bigger part of the business for Mullica Hill, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network, said Greg Golden, partner and sales manager.

The company’s Mexican mango volumes are expected to be about 70% rounds and 30% ataulfos this season, but ataulfos’ share is way up from a few years ago.

“We used to bring in very minimal volumes,” Golden said.

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