After a positive 2013-14 campaign with 1,200 more containers shipped, Peruvian mango growers have much lower expectations for next season due to the effects of alternate bearing and a light El Niño phenomenon.
Peruvian Mango Exporters’ Association (APEM) general manager Juan Carlos Rivera told www.freshfruitportal.com the export supply would be down 30-40%.
He said the progress of flowering was only 60% of what it was during the same time last year, but total production could reach 70% of the 2013-14 level if current weather conditions continued.
Rivera forecast a 34% decline in production to 90,000 metric tons (MT), but said with a bit of luck the sector could hit 100,000MT.
“The truth is that the Peruvian mango industry is different to what it is in other countries. We have 14,000 growers on 24,000 hectares. In some places they force plants to have a larger production but that’s not done in Peru,” he says.
He said APEM representatives had covered a large portion of farms in the regions of Piura, Lambayeque and Áncash to assess flowering rates.
“What we do every year is send specialists to cover the greatest number of fields possible, and that way we have a bit of a clearer view of production…in the field it is evident that production has been reduced because of climatic issues. The winter we had did not have the right conditions,” Rivera noted.
“But this is not something new for us. It’s a usual phenomenon we call ‘alternating’.”
In light of this, the executive hoped the spring would not be too hot so that production didn’t fall further.
While the lower production will mean less income, the industry leader said he did not consider there to be a negative impact from the situation for growers or exporters.
“For us this is not a negative thing. On the contrary, we are optimists. It is production that we will be able to manage, we won’t stop supplying other markets and we’ll be able to get good prices,” he said.
“We are not worried about the situation really. For us it’s something we already know and we are managing it in a better way. Receivers know about the issue and have to suit themselves in terms of prices.”
Rivera emphasized the lower production would not mean certain markets would be given priority over others.