Ecuadorian mango exports “supremely low” this year
Weather phenomena continues to stall South American fruit production, with Ecuadorian mango exports currently seeing “supremely low” volumes, Mango Ecuador Foundation President Bernardo Malo says.
The Mango Ecuador Foundation is a non-profit that supports producers, exporters and industrial sectors, aiming to increase productivity, aid in research, education and technology.
Malo spoke to FreshFruitPortal.com regarding an apparent increase in U.S.-bound shipments, which was reported by the National Mango Board (NMB) in its weekly crop updates.
The U.S. is the top destination for Ecuadorian mangos, accounting for over 90% of shipments.
NMB data put week 44 (early November) shipments up 2.5%, while week 43 saw a 13.7% uptick, and week 42 was about 87% up than what was shipped the previous week.
However, the executive assures this is “only on paper” as the sector continues to struggle with the devastating effects of El Niño which, Malo says, isn’t yet in full swing.
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“There’s an evident and significant decrease in production this year. In the last two weeks, volumes have remained stable, but lower than average, that is, well below what Ecuador normally ships to the American market,” Malo indicates.
Additionally, Malo explains that Peruvian mangos still haven’t hit the market this season, meaning that one of Ecuador’s strongest competitors has yet to make a move. Similarly, Peru has also been hit by El Niño and natural disasters that affected flowering and will, most likely, hinder production as well.
“A very, very significant reduction in Ecuador's production is already forecast. It could be as low as 60% or go up to 70%, 75%, fluctuating depending on how long the fruit can be harvested,” he says.
To achieve that “lower” loss percentage, Malo says that the country’s main growers are hoping to be able to harvest until December.
Ecuadorian mangos are grown mainly in the provinces of Guayas and Los Ríos, with an approximate area of 15.567 acres registered for export.
Popular varieties include Tommy Atkins, Kent, Ataulfo, Keitt, Haden, Nam dok mai, Madame Francis, Naomi and others.
"Ecuador is possibly the only mango-producing country that has 100% of its exportable production with GLOBALG.A.P. certifications, which account for traceability and good agricultural practices. To me, this makes a difference compared to the other growers in the region,” Malo shares.