Brazil has sent its first-ever mango shipment to South Africa, following an export agreement recently reached between the two countries after three years of negotiations.
The Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA) reported that South Africa has now opened its market for mangoes grown in the São Francisco Valley.
The area represents 90% of national production and last year exported 150000 metric tons (MT) of the fruit, with returns of US$213 million, to countries such as the Netherlands, the U.S. and Spain, according to local media.
“Recently, the region exported the first batch of 25 MT to the African country, as a result of the dialogue between the governments of the two countries and the support of the CNA and the Brazilian Association of Exporters of Fruits and Derivatives (Abres) during the negotiations,” said the CNA.
“We saw in South Africa a potential market in the international fairs and for that reason we informed the Agriculture Ministry of our interest in selling there.”
Daniel Briso, one of the mango producers benefiting from the agreement, had previously commented that the South African market presented two advantages for Brazil.
“It is a country that, in addition to producing, is also a large mango consumer,” he was quoted as saying.
“The second big advantage is that they consume a lot of the Tommy Atkins variety, which is a variety that we have difficulties commercializing in Europe, as they are migrating toward fiber-free varieties”.
Eduardo Brandão, technical advisor to the National Fruit Commission of the CNA, added that Brazilian exports of mangoes to the country should increase in the coming years.
Caio Coelho, marketing director of association Valexport, earlier this year told local media that the producers were preparing to meet the new demand.
“We produce 700,000 MT of mango annually in an area of 30,000 hectares, most of them with Tommy Atkins, Palmer, Kent and Keitt varieties,” he was quoted as saying.
He expected that all exports to South Africa would be made via sea freight.
Brazil’s season runs from August until December, while South Africa usually starts around January.