No longer just a summer fruit, NT mangoes hit Sydney and Melbourne markets in July
The super-early Kensington Pride mangoes are currently fetching around $80 a tray, which is about double what mangoes are normally worth once the season ramps up.
Dave Rutherford from Red Rich Fruits, said the mangoes were picked from the Berry Springs area near Darwin and taste delicious.
"Even though I deal with hundreds of thousands of these buggers, I still enjoy them and had a taste of these first ones and they were good," he told ABC Rural.
"The feedback [from the markets] is that they've landed in very good quality and they look good."
Top End packing sheds are also supplying green, unripe mangoes to the market, which are getting snapped-up mostly by Asian restaurants.
What about the rest of the season?
There are a number of Top End farms ready to supply early mangoes to the market, but overall the main season in the Northern Territory is still weeks away.
"Over the coming weeks it will be relatively low volumes to come," said Mr Rutherford.
"I think mid to late September we'll start to do some big numbers."
Mr Rutherford is expecting volumes to be similar to last year, but others in the region are tipping the NT will have one of its biggest mango crops ever and produce more than 5 million trays.
The NT's Minister for Primary Industry, Paul Kirby, met with mango growers around Katherine last week and was told to expect a big harvest.
"They're expecting a bumper season and a lot of fruit, if the conditions stay right, and [they are concerned] about flooding the domestic market," he said.
"So we're looking to help them [access] overseas markets," he said.
"There's talk of getting planes straight to Darwin for the specific purpose of getting mangoes onto them.
"A step up from that, is could we get them [planes] directly into Tindal [near Katherine], so that local producers can get their product onto a plane and sent overseas?
"As a government, we'll be doing all we can to make sure some of that comes to fruition because it'd be a fantastic story."
According to the Australian Mango Industry Association, Australia produced more than 10 million trays of mangoes during the last two seasons and that is set to grow by an extra 5 million trays in the next five years as new plantations across the nation mature and start bearing fruit.
Source: ABC Rural