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A Little Crop Update

April 5, 2024

Ample tommy volume and little Ataulfo mangoes

Sometimes things move quickly despite how slow-moving they seem. I realized this morning that a quick crop report was warranted as crops shift in supply and size. I had intended to put out a more major crop report next week once I had more information that I had been collecting, but today as we solidify everything for next week, I’m realizing not everyone understands the changes – so here is a quick synopsis of the happenings in terms of organic Mexican mangoes with a Crespo-centric perspective.

Where we are on the map (and in general)
Currently, we are still operating solely in the south for organics. Even though the conventional markets have started to see fruit from other Central American countries, the organic markets are still dependent solely on Mexico. Oaxaca has basically ended their Ataulfos, and Chiapas is now just finishing up, all of which is normal in terms of timing. Tommy’s run a bit longer (they start later, remember), so we will see those from multiple regions (north and south) for the next month. Michoacan has limited organics these days.

I think most importantly we need to remember that there has been an overall decrease in volumes from the orchards compared to past years. As I have mentioned in earlier crop reports on the southern regions. Flowering, flower set, and general yields are not just down but have been more unpredictable than ever.  Predications have been more than difficult to make and have more often than not, missed the mark this season. The wall of mangoes the industry has been taking about, you remember the one that is always coming- just keeps being moved back, proving the difficulty industry wide.

Tommy Atkins
The southern regions are currently ample and in an abundance of fruit as they reach the downward slope of their peak,  projecting to taper off in May. All sizes are presently available, although “ample” is a relative term given the circumstances or generally lower orchard yields. Focusing attention on Tommy Atkins mangoes, particularly if your shoppers prefer large fruit, is the wisest course of action for the next several weeks until Ataulfo production in the north improves.

The most important part of this crop update is the part about little Ataulfos. Currently the production, centered in the last production regions of Chiapas is yielding small fruit and to put it in organic perspective, I mean small 20/22’s on average. Currently 12/14’s are scarce, they exist, but are scarce. 16/18’s are limited but exist. There is less fruit on the trees in general this year. Part of this is due to lack of rains last year. Gaps and pockets of lower yields on specific sizing has become the normal. There was suppose to be a lot of Ataulfos from Chiapas and Oaxaca for april, bloom, fruit set and everything pointed to this, no one is quite sure what what happened as the reality is we are not seeing that much fruit actually able to be picked. The push has to be on multiple sizing in order to move through this.

The northern regions’ start  in early May will assist, but we are still weeks away from any abundance that will aid in size variance. New fruit needs to be picked and packed for a while to truly understand overall production in terms of sizing predictions, so the next few weeks are crucial. While there is fruit available, most of it is small. If your shoppers favor Ataulfos, then smaller fruit is a generally promotable option. Pricing has not really shifted, signaling a strong message that fruit on the trees isn’t infinite.

Empaque Don Jorge (El Original) Opening
Next week, our main packhouse Empaque Don Jorge (Mexico’s largest hydrothermal) is set to open to assist in packing more fruit from additional regions. It’s too early for me to predict the extent to which this will immediately help us, but we do expect Ataulfos to be packed and shipped from there this week. Perhaps the best news is that with only a day’s drive, we have better turnaround ability to make things work in the thick of these tough times.

I am working on a more in-depth Crop Report for the transition, but information is not easily attainable currently as many folks are not as clear as usual regarding the orchards. Nonetheless, expect something from me next week.


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