Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

South African mangoes eyeing European market share lost to Peru

The country awaits a good mango year, perhaps an above average year reckons a mango grower; there is no official crop estimate yet.

Right: Tommy Atkins mangoes running over the line; sunburn is a concern this season

It’s ten to fourteen days later and in the meantime, mangoes from Malawi and Brazil fill the gap. Mango imports find it difficult to compete once the domestic season peaks.

The Atchar market always starts first, taking green unripe fruit for the making of the well-loved condiment.

The Tommy Atkins harvest for the fresh market has started and if volumes are lower, it’s because flower initiation was retarded by a warm autumn and during spring, heat affected fruit set.

Other cultivars are “firing up nicely” in the orchards, but it’s been hot and sunburn is an issue. “It’s as hot as hell,” says Pieter Buys from Nyalani Estates, in Deerpark in the greater Tzaneen area.

“Over the last two weeks every day has been over 40°C.”

Their October had been the wettest tenth month in fifteen years, while November has been the driest they’ve had.

Export opportunity
About three decades ago South African mango exports took a knock due to quality issues and lost its European market share to Peru.

Right: The Keitt harvest has not yet commenced

This year the South American country's mango crop is significantly down, creating an opportunity for South Africa in Europe.

The opportunity for increased exports presents itself, but more containers will be shipped out of necessity: the mango drying industry is dwindling.

“South African dried mango facilities can’t compete globally anymore as a result of loadshedding and wage costs. It’s come to a point where it’s no longer profitable."

"Absurd" retail prices for dried mango stifles consumption
Pieter considers South African retailers and wholesalers who insert giant margins - he gives the example of a major discounter asking an "absurd" R500 (24.4 euros) for a kilogram of dried mango - also to blame, pricing it far above consumers among whom there exists a lively demand for dried mango.

He considers R300 (14.78 euros) per kilogram of dried mango a fairer price.

"Every year easily 12,000 tonnes of mangoes used to be dried, I’d hazard to say they won’t be taking even 6,000 tonnes this season.”

The first containers with Tommy Atkins should be leaving around the week before Christmas, finding buyers in Europe and in the Middle East.

“The quality issues with mango exports have all been sorted out since. Now that our quality is much better, hopefully we can compete a little bit with the produce coming out of Peru.”

For more information:
Pieter Buys
Nyalani Estates