Ecuador expecting "strange" mango season
Ecuador is anticipating an earlier start to its mango season than normal, but a much later volume peak.
Yamil Farah, president of the Ecuadorian Mango Exporters' Association, told FreshFruitPortal.com the weather had had an unusual impact on production.
"This year has been a little strange," he said. "We have three production areas in the province of Guayan, and two of these, which have the heaviest volumes, are delayed because there was little rain in May and June."
Meanwhile, there is an Ataulfo-producing area that is running earlier than normal. The region, which produces around 15% of the total crop, will begin harvesting in mid-September.
Despite these peculiarities, Farah said the country will likely produce similar mango volumes to previous years.
However, he said that peak production of the predominant Tommy Atkins variety should start in week 46, instead of the regular week 44. The variety represents 60% of total production.
Farah said this was likely not the new normal, but rather an anomaly this year resulting from the weather.
"The rains generally finish in May ... and we had some heavy rains in late May and even in early June," he said.
Growers tend to induce flowering after the rains finish, which led to the delays in some areas.
"We would consider this to be the latest season in the last five years," he said.
The U.S. will still receive the greatest volumes this season, while there are some new developments in the European market.
"This year there are some phytosanitary changes in Europe that we are discussing and negotiating so we will see how it will all be in the end," he said.
While this could impact exports to Europe, he doesn't expect it will affect more than 5% of shipments.
See also our 'In Charts' article about the impact of Ecuadorian mangoes in the U.S. market from October last year.