High prices caused by limited global supply allowed exporters to partially offset losses, but not enough to compensate for the drop in production

Peruvian mangoes

Strong international mango prices have helped offset some of the losses caused by the sharp drop in Peruvian production this season but have not been enough to salvage the campaign, according to consultancy Fresh Fruit Peru.

Peru exported 203,848 tonnes of mangoes worth US$264m in 2023, representing a 21 per cent drop in volume and 14 per cent fall in value compared to the previous year. The fall was due to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which also hit production in other parts of the world.

“This generated a drop in global supply, which was more evident in the second half of the year. Large competitors such as Brazil faced even more serious problems than Peru, so without much product available for global trade, strong upward pressure was generated on the price,” Fresh Fruit Peru said.

“But this pressure was more evident in the last months of 2023, when, faced with fear due to constant reports that the stock was being depleted faster and faster and stocks could not be replenished in the short term, a more accelerated rise was observed in prices.”

Unfortunately, the peak of the Peruvian season had ended by then and shippers have been unable to take advantage of the high market prices. Exporters received an average price of US$1.29/kg, 8 per cent higher than in the previous season.

“With the last heatwave arriving in the first months of 2024, the situation for Peruvian producers has worsened. The mango’s need for cold periods has caused a productive drop of more than 70 per cent compared to the beginning of the previous year,” the consultancy continued.

Peruvian mango production has increased significantly in recent years. By expanding from Piura towards regions such as Lambayeque and Áncash, growers have been able to extend the export window until autumn, allowing them to offer more competitive and attractive purchasing plans for customers.

During 2023, mango supply to the European market was mostly stable. Despite the drop in Peruvian shipments, the price did not skyrocket due to domestic production and the presence of Brazilian mangoes.

Fresh Fruit Peru said the European market is likely to remain undersupplied for the foreseeable future. “The challenge that exporters are currently facing is not selling, but rather allocating shipments, because demand is increasingly outstripping scarce supply,” it explained.

“South Africa has suffered a delay in its campaign, which still leaves room for the high prices that are being shown and Brazil will continue with a situation very similar to Peru, therefore, it is to be expected that this panorama will be sustained for a few more months.”