Brazil mango production up, exports to fall
IBRAF agronomist Cloves Ribeiro Neto has told www.freshfruitportal.com the industry expects 1.2 million metric tons (MT) of production, but around half that will be exported at 115,000MT. This equates to a 7.77% fall on last year's exports of 124,694MT.
"In terms of our crop this year, Brazil hasn’t had any great climatic problems so our harvests haven’t been set back, but the trend is that we're expecting lower exports because of the real," he says.
"For example Vale do São Francisco, which is our biggest mango-growing region, will be directing 50% of its mango production to the domestic market."
Ribeiro Neto says Brazilian growers are expecting low prices this year due to a lack of popularity for the country's main variety Tommy Atkins.
"Prices for Brazilian mangoes are generally low because our major variety is the Tommy, which isn’t highly valued in the international market, so for that reason we're expecting lower prices than for Mexico, and especially Peru which is involved particularly in the organic side.
"Brazil is already modifying its varieties and you’re not seeing any new Tommy Atkins planting. Growers are more going to varieties that are more valued like Ataulfo (Champagne), Keitt and Kent.¨
He says the industry is now looking to new markets like the Middle East and Russia, with plans to boost shipments to the U.S. where its main variety is better-received.
The Netherlands is Brazil's largest mango export market representing around 49% of shipment volumes, followed by the U.S. (20%), Spain (10%) and the U.K. (7%).
Brazil has also recently begun its watermelon season with IBRAF forecasting total volumes of 25,000MT, destined for the main markets of the Netherlands, the U.K., China and Spain.