Modest growth will bring Mexico’s Hass avocado production to 1.5 million tons for the 2014/2015 marketing year (MY), according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
Growers estimate the country’s avocado exports will also increase, to about 700,000 tons, though this could end up being higher as world prices are expected to be lower, FAS said in its recent Mexico Avocado Annual report.
Mexico exports avocados to 21 countries but its top markets are the US (accounting for the vast majority), Japan, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and France.
Michoacán grows most of Mexico’s ‘green gold’
The state of Michoacán, in western Mexico, is the world leader in avocado production, growing 85% of Mexico’s avocado crop. Most avocado production in this avocado belt takes place in small orchards of just 5–10ha.
The vast majority of the export business is managed directly by packers, many of whom have significant US investment. Growers in Michoacán generally sell their fruit on the spot market to a packer in terms of pesos/kg.
Overall yields in Mexico for MY 2014/15 are forecast between 8.9–9.1 MT/ha but yields of 15–20 MT/ha are expected in the state of Jalisco, which is
planting at higher tree densities and using advanced management technologies.
Due to plant health concerns, Michoacán is currently the only state in Mexico authorized to export Hass avocados to the US. USDA /APHIS registration of authorized pest-free municipalities is required for producers to export to the US.
State of Michoacán within Mexico
Attractive prices for consumers in 2014/15
Export prices were higher than expected in 2014/15. In March 2014, two-layer cartons of Hass 48s from Mexico were reported at prices of $36.25-38.25, up from $31.25-32.25 at the same time in 2013. Prices were higher because California could not supply avocados at the time, and Mexico had some shipping issues.
“Prices for MY 2014/15 began at lower levels and are expected to remain attractive for consumers as the domestic crop is expected to be good,” FAS said.
Click here to read the Mexico Avocado Annual report by FAS