At the start of the year, papaya production areas in the northeast and southeast of Brazil were hit by long-lasting and powerful rainfall that damaged fruit blooms. Papaya importer and distributor HLB Tropical Food’s April imports from Brazil to the US fell 51 per cent compared with March.

HLB has now reported an increase in papayas from Brazil to the markets of North America and Europe, and the company's growers predict that production will be back to normal this month.

Melissa Hartmann de Barros, director of communications at HLB's North American headquarters in Florida, said: 'We are happy to report that the shortage is almost over.'