South African mango season starts early with big volumes, lower prices

The South African mango harvest is in full swing, and the increases in volumes on the market have led to pressure on prices.

According to Johann du Preez, operational manager at Bavaria Fruit Estate, they started harvesting last week and that feedback from the marketplace was that the season had begun about a week earlier than last year, with bigger volumes already on the market.

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While the harvest this season was slightly higher than the 70,000 tons produced in the 2019/2020 season, this was still below the five-year average of 84,000 tons.

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Du Preez added that direct feedback from sellers was that shoppers were staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and not venturing out as often as usual to purchase fresh produce.

He stated that growers would have to juggle supply between export, fresh sales, factories, and direct sales to hawkers, while problems with fruit transport and shipping schedules made exports a challenge, too.

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“The overseas situation is not favourable, with the strengthening of the rand, oversupply of Brazilian fruit on the market, and the COVID-19 measures in the UK dampening the sales of fresh and fresh-cut [fruit salad] sales,” said Du Preez.


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