Man-goes crazy for tropical fruit

Mango season produces high yields in 2018-19


Agribusiness
More than 10 million trays of mangoes have been harvested this season.

More than 10 million trays of mangoes have been harvested this season.

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A NEAR-record breaking mango season has been experienced in Australia, with more than 10 million trays of mangoes harvested this summer.

Aa

A NEAR-record breaking mango season has been experienced in Australia, with more than 10 million trays of mangoes harvested this summer.

While some crop losses were experienced during the November heatwave in North Queensland, the industry is celebrating the second highest yield on record.

Australian Mango Industry Association CEO Robert Gray said while there was still small amounts of fruit coming off in the Atherton Tablelands, the season would wrap up across Australia in coming weeks.

"It has been pretty good and we are forecasting a crop greater than 10 million trays, which will be the second biggest we've ever had," Mr Gray said.

He said the industry had expanded rapidly over the past decade, with thousands more trees planted, which would continue to lead to increased yields.

Mr Gray said growth was occurring across all growing regions but particularly Queensland and the Northern Territory, where 90 per cent of mangoes are produced.

"Largely it is to do with the increase in tree numbers coming into the production. Over the last decade there's been a lot extra including the new variety R2E2. Calypso and Honey Gold production is growing each year.

"Certainly that underpins the trend in growth, though we've also had good conditions for growth and flowering, with a cool winter and it was very dry for the most part up until harvest."

However, weather conditions also meant the season was contracted this year with several growing areas overlapping in December, which had lead to lower prices for growers.

Mr Gray said the November heatwave in North Queensland had caused some losses, and had further condensed the harvest window with fruit coming on earlier than anticipated.

"The season was late in starting and earlier to finish so it was a bit more condensed, and there was a bit more overlap during that December period, so prices were not as good as we hoped... but it was a great year for consumers of Australian mangoes here and overseas."

About 15 per cent of mangoes are exported and there was growth in key export markets this year including the US, Canada, China, the Middle East and New Zealand.

Mr Gray said while the season overlap was good for consumers, retailers needed to charge between $2.50 to $4 for a piece of fruit for growers to make a profit.

"As an an industry we need to focus on the things that allow us to increase selling more fruit and in that price range $2.5 to $3, that's what drives profitability for growers."

Mr Gray said the industry was focused on producing quality fruit and the results were pleasing.

"We are focused very strongly on high flavoured fruit as an industry and all indicators are that we had the tastiest mangoes in three years, they were juicy and sweet."

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