First Aussie mangoes of season arrive in U.S.
The trade with the U.S. was established in January, and a trial shipment of 5.5MT of mangoes was sent in February, according to website Abc.net.au.
Australian Mango Industry Association CEO Robert Gray said weekly shipments would continue for several months.
"This is part of a three-year trial with the US government," he was quoted as saying.
"Our aim this year was to have regular shipments across each of the mango varieties, and we are certainly going to see that happen over the course of the next couple of months.
"Going on what each of the growers have indicated to us, we will probably do between 20,000 and 30,000 trays. Each of those trays is about five kilograms."
He added there were some 'reasonable volumes' this year, and certainly enough to test out the systems and processes.
Gray reportedly said feedback from U.S. importers had been positive.
"We are obviously dealing with the premium end of the market, but the fruit that has arrived this season has been received very well, like last year's consignment," he was quoted as saying by Abc.net.au.
"The fruit is selling a lot more expensive than competing products from South America. Our fruit is selling for $4–$5 a piece.
"There is a lot of interests coming from a wide range of outlets in the US, so we are pretty optimistic that over time this is going to be a really good market for the Australian industry."
Eight mango producers have registered to export fruit to the U.S.
However, growers from the Northern Territory, which produces about half of Australia's mangoes, were restricted from exporting to the U.S. this season.
"To access the US market you need to have some designated packing facilities," Gray was quoted as saying.
"So there needs to be some logistical issues sorted out in the Northern Territory to free up packing facilities to access the US market."