April marked the end of the peak harvest season for fresh mango in South Africa, with the late cultivar Keitt concluding its season around the end of May. The mango season has been hampered by the dry weather during which only a third of the normal summer rainfall has fallen this year.
Production in 2019/2020
In December 2019, temperatures in Limpopo rose to around 40˚C. Growers are therefore worried about the coming season and production is already 30% lower than last year, with the harvest having started between two and four weeks earlier than usual.
Price outlook for 2020
In April, the market price for South African mangoes stood at around €0,36/kg ($0,39/kg), with an average of €2/4kg ($2,16/4kg). Sales had fallen in January, as it is always a difficult period for the marketing of fruit. Traders therefore expect that, as the demand increases, prices could rise drastically, given the shortages.
However, this is especially the case in the domestic market. It is not expected that exports will be affected by the shortages. The larger growers often have access to sufficient irrigation options. There is even the prospect that the volume exported may be somewhat higher than last year.
The outlook for dried mangoes is better. Customers from the Far East, such as Japan and Singapore, switch from West Africa to the South African market due to the quality and continuity of the supply. – Tridge