Mango imports from Mexico to the U.S. are expected to increase in 2023 despite the season’s slow start due to weather issues. Importers are forecasting that the mango supply will grow as the season progresses, and the quality is expected to be high, with large fruit sizes.
Is this an opportunity for mango growers worldwide?
According to Vlad Mitton, senior manager of data and research for the National Mango Board, U.S. mango import volume has increased from 62 million to 139 million 4-kilo boxes from 2005 to 2022, primarily due to the supply of Mexican mangoes.
Mexico is the largest supplier of mangoes to the United States, accounting for 62% of the total volume. But shipments from other countries also continue to grow, and Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador recorded a 24% increase in export volumes in 2022 compared to the previous year.
In Mexico, mango production usually peaks between April and August, but the season starts in January and runs until September.
In the United States, some mango distributors are experiencing supply problems due to increased domestic demand in Mexico and a lack of quality yellow mangoes from Chiapas.
JoJo Shiba, who manages sales for G-M Produce Sales LLC, noted that climate change is affecting seasonality in Mexico’s mango growing regions, which explains the variability in both volume and quality of supply in recent years.
Despite this, distributors expect supply to regularize in the coming weeks. The harvest in Michoacán is scheduled to begin in March, and the season will likely reach peak production in June.
Distributors point out that Mexican mangoes continue to be a popular choice for U.S. consumers.
The quality of the fruit is expected to be excellent in 2023, with an increase in volume and size consistent with previous years, even though a lower production peak may occur due to earlier mango flowering.
Current estimates from Export Mango Packers (EMEX, by its Spanish acronym), the leading association of Mexican mango exporters, indicate that the volume of Mexican mangoes shipped to the United States will increase by 5-8% in 2023 compared to 2022.
It is worth mentioning that Colombia has announced its first mango shipments to the U.S. market. Although their volumes are low, Columbian growers expect to increase exports in the coming seasons.
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Sources: Portal Frutícola, The Packer
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