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Mexican Mango Exports on the Road to Recovery after COVID-19 Pandemic

The erratic climatic conditions such as spine-chilling winter, torrential downpour, flood or earthquake impact the production of fruits like mangoes around the globe. But the silver lining in the dark is these conditions are short-lived and therefore, distributors and retailers do not face significant losses. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire story. The pandemic in 2020 and 2021 hit Mango distributors hard in Mexico making it difficult for them to increase the sale of their products both in local and international markets.

Problems Faced by Distributors

One of the main problems with mango produce is the long sowing period. The short sowing and reaping time of many agricultural products allow farmers to sow it again due to unforeseen events. But the situation is different in the case of mangos as farmers need to put in their hard work and sweat for nearly 10 months to get a quality product. When mangoes are ready to pluck, the nationwide lockdown took place due to which farmers were unable to pluck the fruit, leading to their wastage and loss of income.

Inadequate post-harvest care and poor storage are two other issues mango fruit distributors faced on a wide scale. The main pulp of the fruit comprises a good amount of water that dehydrates quickly if not stored properly. Once the pulp dried, all varieties of mango lose their flavor. A large portion of Mexican mangos accounts for export to some of the major European countries year-on-year basis. First, there were total restrictions on the export and import during the peak pandemic times. Even when the restrictions lifted after the lockdown, logistical disruptions add to their woes. When some countries allowed exports and imports, factors like heightened security at seaports and airports and improper storage of tones of mangos affecting their market and making it difficult for the distributors of the Mango Mexican sector to survive.

Unexpected consumer behavior leading to reduced demand is another problem that is beyond their control. Though restrictions lifted all over the globe, consumers are wary to make a purchase. They remain skeptical about the quality of the product and are ready to compromise with their taste for a year or so. This eventually results in low sales and low profits for distributors.

Looking for New Opportunities

To bring their business back into shape, mango distributors were looking for new opportunities that will increase their sales. In such situations, a Free Trade Agreement signed between Mexico and the European Union in 2020 acted as a breather for them. The Association of Mango Exporters of Mexico (Emex) informed that as per the agreement, all trade between Mexico and the EU will be free from customs duties. This is indeed one of the greatest news mango distributors received in the last few years as it aimed at giving a major boost to mango exports. And the benefits are clearly visible in the time span of one year only. The statistics show that the Mexican mango exports grew by 57.8 % in terms of value and 30.0 % in terms of volume for the time period January to April 2021 in comparison to the last year. Though the shipment levels were low as compared to expected figures, the Mexican mango sector has shown signs of recovery.

With no signs of COVID-19 pandemic ending in the near future, the country is planning to diversify its markets for export and increase consumption of Mexican mangos in other nations also. When consumption increases, demand will increase automatically enabling mango distributors to earn their livelihood and sail afloat during the tough times.

So, it is clear that unless and until the lifting of restrictions will not take place in the global market, it will be difficult to experience a revival phase by the Mexican mango sector. The Government of the country is taking every possible step to revive the economy, and allowing custom duty-free export to the EU is one step in the same direction. An increase in the export market is another meaningful step to recovery that will help mango distributors in the long run.

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