Australia’s avocado production is forecast to continue expanding, given that a third of the trees have yet to reach prime production. The country’s 2017/18 avocado crop was up 17%, to 77,000 tons, worth US$402 million, according to Avocados Australia. Production has almost doubled in the past decade, with forecast volumes to reach 115,000 tons by 2025. The leading avocado-growing region is Queensland (62%), followed Western Australia (25%), with even growth across the country.
Australian avocado production booming
Chile’s avocado exports plummet 58.3% in 2018/19
Mexico’s avocado exports remain stable in 2018/19 despite strikes
Mexico’s avocado exports are expected to remain stable in 2018-19 at around 1 million tons, according to USDA data. This comes despite the recent turmoil in Mexico’s main avocado production state, Michoacán, with producers complaining about low prices and practices they deem unfair. The USDA report highlights how the depreciation of the Mexican peso has helped drive exports in recent years. Indeed, the export estimate is significantly higher than the 874,000 tons of the 2016-17 campaigns.
Mexico’s avocado strike comes to end
The strike and road blockades that paralysed the avocado harvest and exports in the Mexican state of Michoacán have come to an end after 16 days. A government-brokered meeting between growers and packers ended in an agreement to resume harvesting and shipping. The cause of the strikes was the discontent of some growers with the low prices received from packers, with demands for a minimum price, something the packers refused to do, citing international competition law.
Strikes bring Mexico’s avocado capital to standstill
Michoacán’s avocado producers unhappy with the low prices have blocked roads, stopping the cultivation and exports of the fruit. They are demanding a raise in prices, following the sharp fall in recent weeks. Meetings have taken place between representatives of the sectors to find a solution to a situation which so far has led to 50,000 tons of avocado not being exported to the US and 3,500 tons not shipped to Europe and Japan. This has led to a rise in prices in the US, Mexico’s main market.
Colombia and EU discuss avocado
The EU has sent a trade delegation to Colombia to discuss the potential of importing avocado. Many of Colombia’s coffee farmers have begun switching to avocado, with Hass exports exceeding 18,000 tons in the first half of 2018. The cultivated area of Hass has grown by 126% to 16,000 hectares over the last five years.
Chilean avocado producers face tough year in face of growing competition from Peru
Chile’s avocado production in 2018/19 is forecast to rise 8.8%, to 245,000 tons. Nevertheless, a European market saturated with fruit from Peru and South Africa meant that Chilean avocado producers experienced a difficult early window in August this year. The Chinese market was also loaded with Peruvian avocado, leaving the US market the sole exit route for Chilean production, given that Mexican avocados had yet to arrive. By September, the arrival of Mexican production pushed down prices in the US, while prices in Europe improved as the Peruvian campaign drew to a close.
New Zealand avocado output to increase by 25%
Following a disappointing 2017, New Zealand’s avocado growers are expecting a recovery this year, with volumes up by around 25% to 5.2 million 5.5 kg trays. The low volumes registered in 2017 came off the back of a record 2016 campaign. This year, around 3.6 million trays are scheduled for export, a rise of 60% from last year, with demand expected to be strong across all export markets. The main destination is Australia, followed by Asian neighbours South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Singapore, with new markets rapidly developing in Taiwan, India and China, too.
Kenya switches coffee for avocado and becomes world’s 6th largest producer
Kenya’s farmers are switching coffee and tea for avocados to profit from increasing European demand. Kenya is now the world’s sixth largest exporter of avocados, accounting for 3% of the world’s total. Last year, the country exported 63,000 tons of the fruit, much of which was organically produced. The strong demand from Europe allows export throughout the year. There has been a particularly sharp increase in exports of the Hass variety in recent years.
Record prices of Spanish avocado
The price of avocado in Spain has once again hit a historical high, with an average price at origin of €2.55/kg, an increase of 13% compared to last season. Category 1 fruit, with 71% of the commercialised volume, obtains an average price for the farmer of €2.89/kg. This commercial category includes fruit up to calibre 22 (from 171 to 190 grams). These high prices can be found for all varieties.