Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU


ACP exports of mangoes to the EU have grown strongly, particularly since 2007, with further growth in EU consumer demand likely. While tariffs are not an issue in the mango sector, new trade agreements do appear to have boosted investment and facilitated expanded exports in both ACP and non-ACP countries in response to rising EU demand. Brexit is unlikely to pose any challenges for direct ACP mango exports to the UK, but could lead to problems if the absence of a UK-EU27 agreement, spills over into reduced cooperation on SPS and freight forwarding arrangements.  This is important in the mango sector given the role the Netherlands plays in the re-export trade across the EU, including to the UK. This issue needs to be closely monitored by those ACP exporters which are most likely to be affected.

Since 2004 exports of mangoes from the Dominican Republic (D.R.) have grown dramatically from 1,000 tonnes to 17,000 tonnes in 2016. Mangoes now constitute the D.R.’s third most important fruit export. Between 2015 and 2016 alone the value of mango exports grew 29% (from $15.million to $21.1 million). The government and industry association are looking to see exports grow five-fold in the coming ten years (1).

In the D.R. a growing emphasis is being placed on improving the quality of production. Enhancing the quality of production and handling throughout the supply chain is seen as vital to enhancing the market position of the Dominican mango sector. Exports are increasingly being focussed on ‘quality mangoes for the ethnic, gourmet and organic markets of the United States and Europe’. The D.R. also has a trade in processed mangoes such as pulp, jam and sweets (1).

Dominican Republic exports of Guavas, mangoes and mangosteens to the EU (tonnes) 2006-2016

080450 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
EU 1,620 2,768 4,308 4,190 4,300 6,357 6,653 9,640 11,152 13,104 14,593
UK 360 705 1,218 1,506 786 1,463 2,272 3,152 3,478 5,209 5,119
% UK 22.2% 25.5% 28.3% 35.9% 18.3% 23.0% 34.2% 32.7% 31.2% 39.8% 35.1%

EC, Market Access Data Base

Currently the EU is the main market for D.R. mango exports taking fully 14,593 tonnes of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens in 2016. Exports from the D.R. to the EU in this category have increased 800% since 2004 (2).

While the growth in D.R. exports has driven it into second place amongst ACP suppliers (after Cote d’Ivoire) and 5th place overall as an extra-EU supplier, there has also been a strong increase in overall ACP exports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens to the EU. ACP exports grew 167% between 2004 and 2016 (while imports from all extra-EU sources grow 93%). This saw the share of ACP suppliers in total extra-EU imports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens increase from 15.8% in 2004 to 23.8% in 2016. While the D.R. accounts for 19.4% of ACP mango exports to the EU, West Africa is the dominant supplier providing 78% of ACP mangoes, guavas and mangosteens exported to the EU in 2016 (2).

EU Imports of Guavas, mangoes and mangosteens from ACP countries – selected years (tonnes)

080450 2004 2007 2015 2016 UK share EU Imports 2016
Total Extra-EU 164,139, 212,073 297,954 316,977  
% share ACP (15.8%) (16.7%) (22.1%) (23.8%)  
– Ghana 182 986 2,655 3,611 75.4%
– DR 1,231 2,768 13,104 14,593 35.1%
– South Africa 5,863 3,011 1,487 1,512 43.2%
– Gambia 593 857 1,914 1,677 89.4%
-Cote d’Ivoire 11,431 14,708 22,917 30,093 23.7%
– Senegal 2,813 4,700 11,520 9,971 2.8%
– Mali 2,096 4,317 6,425 7,317 2.1%
– Guinea 562 470 1,159 459 0%
– Burkina Faso 930 3,193 4,365 6,023 3.0%
– Grenada 19 7 39 45 100%
– Dominica 8 1 139 6 0%
– St Lucia 9 7 66 31 100%
– Tanzania 0 0 0 20 100%
– Uganda 0 11 15 27 14.8%
– Kenya 36 35 26 23 4.3%
– Suriname 28 25 11 15 0%
– Jamaica 85 254 3 0
– Sudan 3 0 7 5 0%
– Zimbabwe 90 0 8 0 0%
Sub-Total ACP 25,979 35,350 65,860 75,425 23.7%

Source: EC Market Access Data Base

Since 2007 when full duty free quota free access was granted to the EU market, ACP exports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens have shown particularly strong volume growth. A similar pattern exists amongst non-ACP suppliers, with the strongest growth in exports having occurred in those countries which now also have free trade area agreements in place with the EU (notably Peru) (2).

However, since no significant import tariffs are generally charged on imports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens (there is a nominal autonomous tariff of 4% but duty free access is from July to December and a 1% duty is levied from January to end June (5)), this would appear to be linked to rising consumer demand and the investment confidence and trade facilitation effects of trade agreements rather than specific tariff concessions (3).

For example, in 2013 Peru emerged as the main supplier of mangoes to the UK market (3). From 2013 to 2016 Peru exported an annual average of 12,839 tonnes of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens to the UK on a constantly rising trend, up from an annual average of 6,347 tonnes from 2009-2012 (2). This doubling of annual exports to the UK coincided with the entry into force of the EU-Peru trade agreement.

There would appear to be considerable scope for a further expansion of import demand for mangoes within the EU. While in Holland per capita annual consumption of mangoes is 2.3 kg in other EU member states per capita consumption ranges from a mere 0.2kg to a still low 0.8kg per annum (3).

The main country of entry for imports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens into the EU is the Netherlands, taking 52.5% of total EU28 imports in 2016 and 46.7% of imports from ACP countries (2). However 80% of Dutch imports are then re-exported (3).

The second most important EU importer of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens is the UK accounting for 20.9% of extra- EU imports in 2016. However the UK accounted for fully 27% of imports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens from the ACP in 2016.

Eight ACP countries have an above average dependence on the UK market in their trade in mangoes, guavas and mangosteens with the EU, with in 7 cases the UK taking more than a third of exports to the EU (see table above).

However this under-estimates the importance of the UK market, with the Netherlands accounting for 5.7% of the value of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens imported into the UK in 2015 (all re-exported produce). Other EU member states also (re) export mangoes to the UK including Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium. (4).

Comment and Analysis

The mango producers’ association in the D.R. is placing growing emphasis on producing to serve quality differentiated components of the market.  Other ACP exporters may need to consider adopting similar strategies to try and strengthen their market position, given the scale of the competition from major suppliers such as Brazil and increasingly Peru (which in 2016 accounted for 26% of EU imports up from 12% in 2004).

The absence of EU tariffs on imports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens and the likelihood of the UK continuing with this tariff policy, means Brexit is unlikely to lead to any disruption of existing supply chains directly serving the UK market.  However, failure to reach a trade agreement between the UK and EU27 could compromise existing SPS collaboration which facilitates the on-ward shipping of mangoes to the UK from EU27 ports of landing. This could disrupt some supply chains serving the UK, given in 2015 almost 16% of the total value of UK imports of mangoes, guavas and mangosteens came via other EU member states.

Such a development could however present opportunities for ACP suppliers with an already established direct trade with the UK, since it would likely impact most acutely on re-exports from Peru and Brazil going via the Netherlands.

Individual ACP exporters will need to closely monitor the situation and work with their government representatives in Brussels and London to minimise any trade disruption by ensuring transitional SPS cooperation and trade facilitation arrangements are set in place to allow existing supply chains to continue to function uninterrupted for a transitional period post-Brexit.

These types of trilateral cooperation arrangements are likely to be needed across a variety of sectors where currently supply chains serve the whole EU28 market through a single point of entry for onward shipping to the UK or from the UK to EU27 markets. These specific areas will need to be identified and appropriate cooperation initiatives set in place to avoid disruption of individual supply chains, which could lead to additional costs for ACP exporters.

This is the kind of issue which could easily be lost sight of given the complexity of the UK-EU27 negotiations which lie ahead (see companion article ‘Salient points for the ACP from a review of legal implications for the agro-food sector or Brexit’)

(1), ‘Dominican Republic increases its mango production more and more’, 9 June 2017
(2) EC; Market Access Data Base
(3), ‘Holland is centre of EU mango trade’, 2 June 2014
(4) Atlas media, ‘Where does the United Kingdom imports mangoes, guavas and mangosteens, fresh or dried from? (2015)’,
(5) EC, ‘Commission regulation (EC) No 2204/1999 of 12 October 1999 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff’, 10 October 1999

Key words:              Horticulture, Mangoes, Dominican Republic, Brexit
Area for Posting:     Horticulture, Caribbean EPA, Brexit, West African EPA,