The U.S.-based National Mango Board (NMB) says that the Mexican mango season that is now getting underway has experienced a much slower start than last year, but it is expecting volumes to ramp up over the coming weeks.
The U.S. market has been significantly undersupplied for much of the year so far, with the Peruvian crop shorter than the previous season and Mexican volumes limited at the front end of its campaign.
"The southern Mexico mango crop is having a slow start and is currently two to three weeks behind, compared to last year," Leonardo Ortega, director of research at the NMB, told FreshFruitPortal.com.
"In April, the volume is projected to be on par compared to last year, however, volumes are expected to increase compared to last year as we enter the month of May."
Mexico's slow start is attributed to poor weather when the first set of flowers were forming and rain during the fruit development.
However, the weather has been "extremely good" during a second and even third flowering, so both volume and quality will "improve significantly" into March and April, Ortega said.
According to the projections, weekly volumes in March, April and May will be very similar to last year. March weekly volume will be between 1.2 - 1.7 million boxes and in May the volumes will reach the 3.0 - 3.5 million boxes per week.
"Regarding the second part of the Mexican season, it looks very promising because of the good weather in Nayarit and Sinaloa," Ortega said.
Meanwhile, the Central American mango season is expected to run from March to mid-May with similar volumes to 2018. Guatemala is projecting 4.3 million boxes and Nicaragua is projecting approximately one million boxes.
Ortega added that the Peruvian supply shortfall towards the end of its campaign had been forecast by the NMB in its Crop Report prior to the season, so it had not taken the industry by surprise.
"This information was passed to our retail manager team that works very closely with retailers and informs them on what is happening in the mango industry for them to adjust their promotions," he said.