Volumes from Latin America into the Netherlands have seen a “huge decrease”, according to Anton Filipo of LBP Rotterdam

The El Niño weather phenomenon has made life difficult for those in Europe working with products from Latin America such as mangoes.

Generic mangoes closeup

That is according to Anton Filippo, commercial director of leading Netherlands-based logistics group LBP Rotterdam.

”Not only did we see a huge decrease in volumes of all the products that we do from Peru, Ecuador and Colombia,” he told Fruitnet. “We also felt that we did a considerably lower number of shipments from Brazil, in mangoes especially.”

As a result of El Niño volumes from Peru were down, so Brazil took over to supply the US supermarkets and other major receivers, Filippo explained.

The prices in US were such that shipping there was preferable over European markets.

”That led to major shortages – major prices as well for the trade but we as a logistics company have been hit hard by this,” he confirmed.

”We were hit very hard. On mango imports we saw that our volumes via sea were down between 35 per cent and 40 per cent.”

Other categories, such as blueberries, were affected even more than mangoes, he noted.

”Climatological circumstances did not really allow other countries to step in [and fill] the gaps,” Filippo said. “No one could really replace it.”

The consequences of the El Niño phenomenon could still be felt throughout the year, he warned.