SA mango flowering could herald promising season
Subtrop industry affairs manager Rudolf Badenhorst said he was optimistic that volumes would match or exceed last season's 65,000 metric tons (MT).
"It looks like it will be a good season, of course there are lots of weather factors which could affect the size of the crop," he told www.freshfruitportal.com.
"The weather has been temperate and now we are hoping to have strong rains to make sure we have sufficient fruit development."
South Africa currently only exports 1% of its annual mango volumes with 35% going to processing for juice and pickles, and 24% for sale in the fresh domestic market.
However, this could change in the future as Subtrop is lobbying for market access to India and China.
"India is looking into market access into South Africa as well. We only have a 3-4 week season overlap with them,". explained Badenhorst
Currently, the country's main export markets are Middle Eastern states such as Saudia Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Europe was a significant destination until about eight years ago but competition from Peru led to South Africa effectively pulling out of this market.
South Africa starts harvesting in December and the season runs until the end of April. The country's main cultivars are Tommy Atkins, Keitt, Kent and Sensation.
The Limpopo area accounts for 85% of the country's production followed by Mpumalanga at 12% and Kwazulu Natal at nearly 2%.
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