Freska’s Gary Clevenger Talks Mexican Mangos and West Coast Port Congestion
UNITED STATES – It’s still a tight mango market, but the Mexican season is underway, and strong volumes are on the horizon.
I spoke with Freska’s Gary Clevenger about the season and its potential impact on the market.
Freska is currently harvesting Yellow Ataulfo in Mexico, with Reds coming soon. Speaking on quality and volume, Gary tells me, “We have been working with Ataulfo for a few weeks and are seeing good quality there. We will start Reds next week and expect strong and steady volume by mid-March.”
When that time comes, Freska has marketing plans ready. The company is starting with the kickoff of its Disney program for retail around late March to early April to correspond with the rise in volumes.
The weather in Mexico has been positive for growers, which is good news after the weather last year in Peru that delayed harvest and led to the decreased volume throughout December and January, which is driving prices.
Currently, Gary is seeing prices for all sizes around $7 - $8 for the East Coast and $9 - $11 for the West Coast. That difference in prices between the coasts is partly due to the West Coast port slowdowns, which has created a vacuum in the West Coast market and is causing millions of dollars of damages to both importers and exporters of not only mangos but other product that are having problems getting in or out.
Gary tells me that as a result of this, lots of product is being diverted to the East Coast from Peru and then trucked to the west.
Luckily, increased volumes from Mexico should help add some relief in terms of mangos. Until then, however, the market is expected to stay firm. “Prices will stay elevated through mid March until volumes increase from Mexico,” Gary tells me.
For now, it appears that the market will remain tight for just a bit longer. Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for the latest updates on the mango market.