Colombia hit by mango oversupply

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Colombia hit by mango oversupply

A severe oversupply of fresh mangoes in Colombia has led to some growers throwing away the fruit rather than trying to sell it, according to an industry representative. 

The situation is due to production growing much faster than domestic market demand, along with low exports of fresh fruit, according to Lenar Lozano, managing director of industry association Fedemango.

"It's quite a challenging situation with production and prices in Colombia because the volume growth has been superior to market growth," he said.

"Over the last seven years, mango production has increased by 38-40%, while consumption is only increasing at the rate of population growth, which is 8-10%."

Colombia's mango export industry is very underdeveloped and that conditions needed to improve for selling mangoes to processors, he said.

Last year the country exported 800MT of mangoes, compared to production of 260,000MT. Half of the shipments were sent to Canada, he said. Of the national production, half of the volumes were sent for processing.

In April last year, Lozano said that most exports are in the form of pulp, dried fruit or conserved fruit.

“Currently fresh mangoes are destined for the national market, but it’s not like in processed mangoes, with which Colombia has a great international presence,” Lozano said.

“We have managed to export small [fresh] volumes and to niche markets. In 2016 we managed to export 403 [metric] tons (MT), which almost doubled from the 283MT of 2015, and we mainly sent to Canada and the European Union,” he said, adding the main European destinations were Spain, France and Portugal. 

The first harvest starts in April and goes until mid-July, with the second running from October to early December. 

Related story: Could fresh mangoes be the next big export crop for Colombia?

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