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Market conditions ripe for more Brazil mangoes

By Mike Hornick 

September 04, 2015 | 12:11 pm EDT

Mangoes are inspected in an orchard. Amazon Produce Network expects the Brazilian deal to run longer, with Mexico ending early and Ecuador running late.

Photo by Amazon Produce Network

With Brazil projected to ship about 16% more mangoes than last year — 6.7 million boxes, according to the National Mango Board — importers and retailers will get an extra taste of the signature tropical fruit this fall.

Growing conditions in Brazil don’t drastically differ from last year, but exporters there could feel a tailwind from a strong dollar and a bigger shipping window.

“The overall crop is not so different, but with a good exchange rate, Mexico’s early exit and Ecuador’s late start, we think Brazil will be north of 6.5 million boxes,” said Greg Golden, partner and sales manager for Mullica Hill, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network. 

“And it’s partly due to the protocol amendment allowing larger fruit, up to 900 grams (31.75 ounces).”

Amazon Produce Network received its first Brazilian mangoes — air-shipped ataulfos — Aug. 12, and will source fruit from Brazil into mid-November. 

The bulk of it will be other varieties; tommy atkins accounts for 85% and palmer nearly all the rest.

“The dollar is very strong in Brazil, which is good for the Brazilian exporters,” said Homero Levy de Barros, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based HLB Specialties LLC. “I can imagine that part of the volume for the local market could be diverted for export if the price is right.”

Oxnard, Calif.-based Freska Produce International LLC expected to end its Mexican mangoes around Sept. 7.

“Brazil may last two to three weeks longer than normal because Ecuador is a little late this year,” said Gary Clevenger, Freska managing member and co-founder. 

Clevenger expected Brazil to peak in late September.

Ecuador usually starts in October, but high temperatures are expected to delay that harvest, according to Angela Serna, communications manager for the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board.

“Due to these climate conditions, production volumes are also expected to be lower than in previous years,” she said.

As August ended, the only remaining arrivals from Mexico were out of North Sinaloa’s fruit fly-free zone.

 Mexico was expected to end its export season with 64 million boxes shipped, according to the board. That’s up from 57 million last year.

Mango consumption in the U.S. jumped 53% between 2005, when the National Mango Board was launched, and 2014. The rise seems likely to continue.

“We see across the board and across most of our base that steady, repeat customers are just ordering more mangoes on a weekly basis than they have in years past,” Golden said. 

“It’s just growing in consumption and awareness.”

Amazon Produce Network received its first two vessel shipments of tommy atkins from Brazil August 14, 2015. 

“We have a program of about 2.5 million boxes,” Golden said. 

“Ataulfos are a very small part of our Brazil program. It’s mostly Tommy Atkins.”

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