Dismal prices force Peruvian farmers to suspend mango sales
The price for a 20kg box of Peruvian mangoes has dropped from PEN27 (US$10.52) to just PEN9 (US$3.12) in less than a month, Planta Jusal Frut Export manager Axel Herrera Seminario told the Peruvian website.
As a result, growers from San Lorenzo, Cieneguillo and Alto Piura announced a 15-day suspension of sales. In a move that could serve as a plee for government intervention, producers have decided to wait until the end of the Ecuadorian harvest to get a leg up on price negotiations.
Boxes sold to exporters typically vary between PEN18-20, equating to a PEN10-12 loss for farmers at the current rate.
With prices expected to drop to as low as PEN1 (US$0.39) during peak production, the ability to earn back investments is not looking good.
Herrera estimated that maintenance of each hectare costs around PEN8,500 (US$3,314).
“The price for mangoes is placed by the exporter who pays the middleman a low price and at the same time, this person pays the farmer an even lower price,” he told www.diariocorreo.pe.
He explained that for the same box a farmer receives S/10 (US$3.90) for, an exporter receives S/25 (US$9.75) for.
The poor market situation has been provoked further by oversaturation. 190 containers of mangoes are reportedly being sent every week to Europe, a market than can only handle around 170 containers a week.
Regional mango council President Javier Atkins Lerggios explained that oversaturation is at the heart of Peru’s current situation.
“There are businesses that bought mangoes at a high price in November, when it was Ecuador’s time to export due to fruit ripeness, and not Peru’s. This caused a price drop,” Atkins told www.diariocorreo.pe.
In the San Lorenzo Valley, an estimated 10,000 farmers are being impacted by the price fall, with an additional 2,000 affected around Cieneguillo and Alto Piura.