Round fruit inflexible for as lower yields and high demand wreak havoc
When I was a little girl in southern California I used to race my bother on this little honda 50 on my pony Cricket. We would race down this long ass trail next to a creek with all kinds of bends and bumps and even oak branches in our way slapping our faces. Cricket was a fast little pony but in the beginning I used to lose all the time until I learned that I had to hold Cricket’s reins back a little bit on some of the worst turns and bends and bumpy areas; after I learned that move we beat my brother Axel’s ass every time!
These next two weeks are like the bendy turns that Cricket and I learned to race through.
Organic round mango fruit volume will be incredibly inflexible the next 2 weeks followed by a big loosening. This is a tough position, but one that we will transcend and soon forget once normal #MuchosMangoes quantities resume before your tulips bloom.
That doesn’t mean demand and supply won’t still have imbalances, mango consumption continues to rise rapidly, which is where some of the roots of the current problem come from. Climate change, as we have reported time and time again over the last several years, creates significantly more unpredictability than usual, with sporadic orchard and varietal behaviors.
So, I say with conviction (but also a little caution) that in a few weeks’ time our Crespo Organic Mango volumes will be back on track with rising demand and ready for our big Cinco De Mayo #CelebrateMexico #CelebrateMangoes campaign! We are ready to take on bigger promotions, and we anticipate a lot more flexibility on sizing as new smaller yielding orchards open up.
So, what’s with actual deal with these two weeks?
Demand for our organic fruit is incredibly high right now, way higher than usual. The southern regions of Mexico have been yielding less fruit over the last several weeks and are set to have their lowest yield yet this week into the next. The fruit they are yielding is rather big, as we have discussed (a lot). Some bloom set after the initial blooms was poor, particularly in the Oaxaca region. In most cases, the yields are way less than predicted and taking a long time; this is industry-wide in southern Mexico.
Conventional markets should see greater relief in the week to come as Nicaragua and Guatemala programs add more volume and size. Michoacan’s late start, which has largely contributed to the lack of CV supply, should help a great deal. Signs all point to some pressure relief in the organic sector as prices are predicted to stabilize on CV fruit. This should (as it usually and weirdly does) take pressure off organic demand, which continues to climb really HIGH and nonsensically high during conventional shortages.
Our best estimates suggest about ten days of tightness before the let loose threshold. The Easter holiday throws a little supply wrench in the mix, which is why even though we have one low week (8-10 days), two weeks will be a problem. Easter operations are limited for a few days due to the holiday despite a rise in fruit availability in the week leading up to that Sunday. All packhouses close for Easter, and some for most of Semana Santa (Holy Week). We close only a few days and pack heavily in the lead up and as soon as we can after.
Crespo Organic Ataulfo Mangoes
Much of the constriction with Ataulfos is dissipating and more volume is coming every day. In Chiapas we are getting a lot more volume and most of the volume is small to medium size which will put us back in the “normal” sizing pool after the grave shortage of small fruit. Quality continues to be clean and we are presenting a price drop as of this week. With ample promotions happening nevertheless with near perfect fulfillment, we anticipate a continuation of the same with well-planned days ahead.
Organic Ataulfos from Nayarit are expected to start in the beginning of May. As we get a little closer, I will provide more details to the northern transition period and beyond.
Volume is very limited, similar to what it has been over the last several weeks. The recent BIG rise in demand has thrown the demand/supply balance off and, with Chahuites (major growing region in Oaxaca) at practically no volume due to bloom set failures, the next week looks to be the lowest volume yet of all our pooled fruit. Conventional markets have been suffering greatly in particular with 8/9/10/12cnt sizing and, with that, the rise in everyday organic purchases have climbed. (Coincidence? Likely not.)
With the onset of April everything changes. Chauites fruit will be ready again and this round is expected to have smaller sizing, which is good news for you 10cnt lovers! Chiapas increases significantly in volume, as well.
Trucking Issue Nogales
This is worth a mention for Nogales customers and, I admit, I need to find more answers on this subject. Trucking to Nogales from the southern region continues to be difficult and with the start of Michoacan, less trucks become available; thus trucking will continue to be challenging to guarantee with accuracy. This means that during this 2-week low cycle customers need to carry larger inventories because the unpredictability and 4-5 day journey can cause delays in loading.
One thing that struck me is something Jose Angel said in one of his crop reports to the sales team this weekend, “we have not experienced any ‘big peak’ in the Chahuites area as we normally do.” This is something I am going to keep watch for as we move through and into other regions.
It takes a lot of work to manage successful mango programs of any scale. We currently are working on the organic side from 3 packhouses to make this all work and we are planning on opening Empaque Don Jorge I (El Original) April 20th, to start packing fruit from Jalisco and Michoacan. Assuming the last of the expansions and improvements currently being wrapped up in Rosario are on time, this opening date will signal even greater volume availability and packing capacity increases into the mix. Supporting not just the Cinco de Mayo rush but our big Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania extravaganza (of which #MuchosMangoes will present numerous promotable opportunities). We have a few fun surprises coming for this party!
It is a long, long mango season, a slight and minor holdback can benefit the bigger picture!