Growers are warning mangoes are set to be in short supply this summer with an unusually warm winter in Queensland taking a toll on the state’s crops — and it’s likely to cause prices to soar.
Queensland produces 43 per cent of Australia’s local supply of mangoes, and some suppliers have warned that supply could be impacted by up to 60 per cent.
The state’s yield of the summer staple usually sits at 22,000 tonnes of mangoes a year, according to the Queensland Government, but this year it is unlikely that will be possible.
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Favco Farms business manager for mangoes and tropical fruits John Nardi told Sunrise in the video above, growers had been hit with “unusual weather this year”.
“There just hasn’t been the right conditions for us to get the crop that we would like to see. Much warmer than normal winter conditions — not enough of a chill.
“We need a certain amount of chilled weather, cool weather, to get the trees to go into their induction phase which actually causes the flowering.”
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Some suppliers believe yield could be impacted by 60 per cent, according to Sunrise, but Nardi said that figure was also impacted by an unusually high yield last summer.
“Last year was a fairly heavy volume crop for us, and we saw some of the lowest prices we’d seen for a long time,” he said.
“It’s likely we’ll see prices that are higher than usual.
“We’ll all be doing the best we can to get as much fruit as there is available out there to all the consumers, and I’m sure the retailers will be working very closely with their suppliers and growers to do the best they can. Hopefully, we’ll have plenty of fruit there for Christmas.”
Mango prices are expected to soar this summer after an unusually warm winter stunted the growing season. Credit: Getty Images
It is likely the mangoes that are produced in the state, will arrive “later than normal, too,” Nardi said.
Mango harvest in Queensland usually starts in North Queensland in late October, and goes on until early April in southern parts of the state.
The chilly weather needed to kick-start mangoes flowering on trees was delayed, or didn’t happen at all, for many regions this year.
But there is a chance that belated blossoming as a result of recently cooler weather could still produce a healthy crop.
“We’ve had a little bit more chill in north Queensland that’s pushing out a bit of flowering now, but if that actually sets fruit or holds fruit, it’s going to be unusually late
“Likely to be closer to a Christmas start for the far north Queensland crops if they come through.”
But quantity will not impact quality, he said.
“Quality is still going to be great,” Nardi said.
Favco Farms spokesperson John Nardi told Sunrise that why quantity will be affected, quality will remain high. Credit: Sunrise
Supermarkets confirmed an upcoming shortage but were varied in their predictions for the end of the year.
A Woolworths spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au: “We’re excited to see mango season get underway, with a range of mangoes now available in our stores.
“The overall volume of mangoes is expected to be less than last year due to adverse weather in some growing regions; however, we are ahead of schedule in rolling out produce this season and there will be plenty for customers in the lead up to Christmas.”
A Coles spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au: “Due to a warmer winter, our mango growers have seen lower flowering at this point of the year than usual. However, it’s too early to forecast if we will see a smaller volume of mangoes for the festive season.”
“As with all fresh produce, strong harvest volumes rely on optimal growing conditions, which as we all know is in the hands of mother nature.”
Nardi added that mangoes freeze well, so anyone worried there won’t be mango atop their Christmas pavlova, can cheek or dice their mangoes and pop them in the freezer, as a festive season back-up plan.
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