Australian mango crop down in 2020
After several consecutive high-yielding seasons, the 2020 Australian mango crop produced the lowest volume in seven years. According to the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA), a later start to the growing season, no real peaks, poor weather conditions, less product being exported and labour shortages all contributed to the lowest volume yet recorded in the AMIA crop forecast, which has been collecting data since 2014/2015.
Despite the slightly later start, the beginning of the 2020 season was filled with the promise of a big crop. Weekly volumes were tracking in line with the previous two seasons up until the end of September, but by October and November, the volume collapsed and didn’t rise again through Christmas and the second half of summer, culminating in a 23 percent lower volume compared to 2019. A total of 8.2 million trays were harvested in 2020, whereas for the past three years the industry has surpassed 10 million trays.
This steep decline in volume led to a significant reduction in the number of mangoes available for sale and a higher average retail price, which meant fewer households buying mangoes. Consumers also bought mangoes less frequently and in smaller quantities.
Treena Welch, Australian Mangoes Marketing Manager, says the focus is now on bringing new buyers into the mango category and moving them up the “Ladder of Love”.
“Ultimately, we want to grow the ‘wedded buyer’ segment, and for good reason,” she says. “During the 2020 season, 22 percent of mango buying households were wedded buyers – they were responsible for purchasing 50 percent of volume and represented 51 percent of spending, buying on average 31 mangoes and spending $66.89 across the season.”
Fortunately, the 2021 season is looking more promising for growers, with up to 4000 trays of mangoes already being picked in farms around Darwin. Trays of Kensington Pride mangoes went on sale at Sydney Markets last week, and were selling for up to $70 a pop. However, unripe Kensington Pride mangoes first appeared at Sydney Markets as early as May, selling for $120 a tray. Kensington Pride and Calypso mangoes will be the first varieties to appear at supermarkets, and are expected to arrive in late August to early September.