Avnish Malde of importer Wealmoor says there will likely be a dearth of mangoes until week 19, with the highest prices seen "in a long time". 

The Wealmoor director told this was because the Peruvian season had come forward considerably because of its warmer temperatures as a result of El Niño.
"The fruit has been ripening a lot quicker and the last of the seafreight arrivals have more or less left the country, so you’re anticipating a very tight supply period from week 13 through to week 17 before the West African deal starts in earnest," Malde said.

"You will have small amounts of South American supply in between, and the general feeling is the fruit that comes through from West Africa around week 16 and week 17 will invariably help, but we’ll be in limited quantities obviously in those early weeks.

"There is certainly a big gap starting to appear and there's a lot of upward pressure on pricing."

He said there wouldn't be any serious volumes from West Africa until weeks 19-20.

"I think you’re likely to see prices in excess of €10-12 a box , which potentially could be the highest we’ve seen for some time...the shortage will intimate that there is likely to be a real dearth of fruit."

Malde, whose company has joint ventures with mango growers around the world and its own production in Gambia, said the West African mango season was looking better in general this year.

"I think generally we’re anticipating a better season from the Ivory Coast than we did last year – it was a difficult season last year; certainly [that's the case for] the Ivory Coast and Gambia.

"Senegal is probably two or three weeks behind and that’s not going to get started until the middle of June but we’re anticipating a decent crop from those countries.

"Then you have some supplies from smaller operators in Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea which supply a bit of fruit but predominantly to the French markets and the European mainland."