Summer sweetness: Mango oversupply sends prices tumbling across Australia | Fruit

Mango growers are urging customers to celebrate the summer season by buying more fruit, as oversupply has sent prices plummeting.

Across the country, a glut of mangoes has caused prices to drop dramatically, with the fruit going for as little as $1.90 each in some stores.

Brett Kelly, chief executive of Australian Mangoes, said the low price is due to an overlap in supply from different regions.. Mangoes from the Northern Territory are normally picked first in late November, followed by Queensland in mid-December, then to New South Wales and then Western Australia.

According to Kelly, the NT crop was late this year, while Queensland’s was earlier. “You have a crossover of more mangoes hitting the markets at the same time, so it puts a bit of pressure on the price,” she said.

“There will be a lot of volume in the coming months so consumers will be able to get their mangoes and from experience I know they will support Australian farmers – they work hard to produce the best mangoes in the world.”

Although it may sound like a bumper crop, Pia Piggott, associate horticulture analyst at RaboResearch, said it’s only up 14% from a year earlier.

“But the supply in the last two weeks and the next two weeks is 600,000 trays of mangoes a week,” Piggott said. “Last year there was only one week where there were 600,000.”

Mangoes have actually seen a decline in the level of production since 2018, he said.

“This is not going to be the best mango season we’ve seen,” Piggott said. “The 2018 season was a record season, with 83,000 tons of mangoes.

“Since then there has been a decrease in production due to weather conditions. Last year, in particular, we saw a huge decline in production volume.

“That’s what makes it look like there’s a lot more supply, but this year won’t compare to 2018.”

Piggott said consumers will likely see low prices on mangoes until the first week of January, when supplies begin to thin.

“After that, the supply will drop a lot more, and that process will probably drive the price up a bit more,” he said.

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While this is good news for consumers, growers say they will have a hard time making ends meet with the low price.

“There’s a lot of fruit that doesn’t even make it to market, it ends up in the juice markets, which is a last resort because of the return growers get,” said Paul Burke, CEO of NT Farmers.

“Our message would be: go buy yourself a mango daiquiri tonight and support the little ones here.”

Woolworths did not say how much sales were up from a year earlier, but a spokesman said customers were buying mangoes in large quantities.

“With an abundance of top-quality mangoes at a great price this season, we’ve seen customers buy more than ever in recent weeks,” the spokesperson said.

“Last week our customers took home a record number of mangoes and demand is expected to grow as we get closer to Christmas.

“Right now our growers are delivering great quality mangoes and we are working with them to offer great prices to help more Australians enjoy mangoes this summer.”

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