ICYMI: Mango volumes down, concerns about rainfall

South Africa's mango harvest is expected to be 10% down from last year. Although farmers are concerned about flooding that may occur in February, the quality of fruit is generally high

The industry's hopes remain high for South Africa's mango season despite rainfall concerns. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

The industry's hopes remain high for South Africa's mango season despite rainfall concerns. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

South African mango volumes are around 10% down from last year’s production, signs that pollination concerns expressed by industry experts last year materialised. However, despite the production decline and fears of late season floods, hopes for South African’s mango season remain high.

In its global overview of mangoes, FreshPlaza.com pointed out that mango growers remain wary of the potential for late season floods in February, negatively affecting the crop.

“So far, however, the fruit looks very good, high quality, and the size is good. Mango volumes are around 10% down from last year’s production,” the industry news platform wrote.

Most of South Africa’s mangoes are grown in the Limpopo province with Hoedspruit being a major production region. The town seems to be on par with normal rainfall, but in Tzaneen there has not been as much rain as they would like yet, FreshPlaza reported.

Further decline in informal sector

Last year, South African mango producers were concerned about the 2021/22 harvest, expecting it to be between 15% and 20% smaller than average.

This was according to Pieter Buys, chairperson of the South African Mango Growers’ Association.

He told Farmers Weekly, “We expect the 2021/22 commercial mango crop to be 15% lower than last year, while the crop from informal producers is expected to be as much as 20% lower.

Mangoes are cheaper to get up and running than avocados, and also costs less in terms of yearly upkeep. Photo: Supplied

“The average annual South African commercial yield hovers at around 140 000t while informal growers produce about 40 000t. Some 6% of the annual harvest is exported, mainly to the Middle East. A considerable portion of the mangoes from the informal sector are [also] used for atchar manufacturing,” he added.

The production decline could mainly be ascribed to problems with pollination, he told Farmer’s Weekly.

In South Africa mangoes are available during the summer, which begins in November and peaks in January and February. Mango season starts with the red-skinned Tommy Atkins cultivar and ends with the green-skinned Keitt.

“The prices for the early Tommy Atkins have not been very good, around R45 per 4kg carton. The first Shelly and Heidi mangoes have also arrived on the market, with better prices that are an accurate reflection of the high quality,” industry sources told FreshPlaza.com.

Shelly mangoes are currently trading at R110 to R120 for a 4kg carton and Heidi mangoes are up to R150 per 4kg carton.

ALSO READ: Atchar production nearly grinds to a halt due to mango shortage.

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