Agronometrics Shorts: Relief is on the horizon for the U.S. mango market
Mango prices surged to unprecedented levels this season with Peruvian mango suffering from the effects of the El Niño phenomenon. The elevated temperatures have adversely influenced the flowering of mango trees, resulting in a marked reduction in production and, consequently, a decline in exports for the ongoing season. As a result, the current season which began in September of last year faces a significant delay compared to the previous season.
So far in the current campaign, the country has exported a total of 19,159 tons of mango, i.e. 80% less volume when compared to last season. Foreseeing a shortage in mango supply and considering the stability in demand, it is anticipated that prices will increase further in the remaining duration of the campaign.
However, the expected increase in mango prices is unlikely to fully offset the significant drop in mango volume. Discussions on the impact of El Niño on Peru and Ecuador have been ongoing for months, with the initial expectation of a 60 to 70 percent reduction in supply.
“That would have been a significant drop, but we didn’t know it would be this drastic,” says Albert Perez of Continental Fresh. As a result of the shortage, less than one million boxes of mangoes are entering the US right now on a weekly basis. In a normal year, at least twice this amount is shipped. “This is the peak of the mango crisis,” mentioned Perez. “We are at the lowest and most critical point in the season and it’s the worst of the worst in terms of supply.” It is expected to last for another month. However, positive developments are on the horizon as mango imports from Mexico will soon be initiated. “While it is too early to project Mexican volume, the expectation is for the crop to be similar in size compared to 2023.”
Early rains and low temperatures have delayed flowering and the commencement of the harvest in the initial growing region, particularly the south. While production ramp-up will require time, promotional volume from Mexico is anticipated to be available by April. There is optimism that, by April, the industry can mitigate the effects of the current challenges. Additionally, supplies from Guatemala, Costa Rica, and other regions are anticipated to contribute to the market in March and April.