Good prices make up for a fall in production

By Lea Coghlan

March 7, 2016, 9 p.m.


FAR north Queensland mango growers have all but brought a close to the 2016 national harvest, with returns making up for a fall in production.

Australian Mango Industry Association chief executive officer Robert Gray said prices were up on last season, particularly post Christmas.

“Certainly post Christmas pricing was up on last year whereas in previous years prices dipped in January this year they remained bouyant through the Mareeba season,”
  Mr Gray said.

“Right across all production regions people have had on average better results and in most cases dollars have made up for a reduction in quantity.

“The total dollars (returns) out of Mareeba would be higher than last year which is good because that flows through to grower profitability and that’s ultimately what we are aiming for.”

Most of the national harvest is complete, apart from a handful of later varieties.

“This year we believe there has been about 2.2 million trays out of Mareeba, which is down on 2.8 million trays from the previous year,”
Mr Gray said.

“Overall, there as been a touch over seven million trays nationally which is down from 9.5 million the previous years.”

Mr Gray said despite rain mid-harvest in December, the quality of Mareeba mangoes had been good.

“We had virtually all fruit meet minimum standards for dry matter and flavour,” 
Mr Gray said. 

“There were a couple of consignments across the season that didn’t quite make the mark but the vast majority of fruit met our objective reporting standards for flavour.

“We had very few incidents of any fruit rot or resin canal from Mareeba. Fruit quality was very good both from a visual appeal and flavour perspective out of Mareeba.

“We had some issues with resin canal out of Darwin early on in the season which was significant.

“Certainly industry has embraced focusing on flavour and that’s really flowing through to consumers buying product more frequently and happy to pay a little more.”

Mr Gray said consistent demand post-Christmas driven by increased promotional activities was a highlight along with expansion of exports to America which saw consistent shipments sent across the Mareeba season.

“There is overwhelming feedback from the marketplace that Australian mangoes and very much Mareeba are delivering what consumers want in terms of how they look and how they eat,”
  Mr Gray said.

“That’s creating a lot of excitement in the marketplace for future years.”