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Avocado thieves strike Malaga’s producers

Avocado thieves strike Malaga’s producers, credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
Credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution

 

 

The lucrative avocado sector is catching the eye of thieves in southern Spain. Two years ago, one farm had about 2,000 kilos of the fruit stolen during a weekend, reports El Pais. Other producers complain of 40 or 50 kilos being pinched on a daily basis. With avocados producers currently earning a record-high of about €3 per kilo, there is certainly a lot of money to be made illegally. The flourishing illegal trade is estimated to concern around 45,000 tons of annual production, worth about €120 million. Malaga is Europe’s main producer of avocado, with more than 6,500 hectares of cultivation. Its main competitor is the nearby ‘Costa Tropical’ of Granada, with another 4,000 hectares. Together with tourism, avocados constitute the lifeblood of the local economy.

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Colombia to surprise the world with the IX edition of the World Avocado Congress

Colombia to surprise the world with the IX edition of the World Avocado Congress

Colombia is the second country in South America to be selected as the venue for the World Avocado Congress. The country´s climatic conditions allow avocado to be produced 365 days a year. The WAC is an event created by the global avocado industry. The event which takes place every four years is sponsored by the International Avocado Society (IAS). Previously, the Congress has been held in South Africa (1987), United States (1991), Israel (1995), Mexico (1999) Mexico, Spain (2003), Chile (2007), Australia (2011) and Peru (2015).

Colombia aims to surpass previous versions when it holds the congress from September 23 to 27 at the Plaza Mayor Convention Center in Medellín. There will be 72 exhibiting companies, over 145 keynote lectures and innovative proposals such as Avotours, Avotaste, Avolabs, Avosolutions, and a robust academic agenda that covers three thematic axes: marketing, productivity and added value.

Avotours will be spaces during the event for discovering the beauty of the Colombian lands. Tours will show the production, technology and processes of avocado crops in Colombia, as well as other representative products from each region. The destinations of these routes will be Sonsón, Oriente Antioqueño and Eje cafetero,

Avotastes will be a gastronomic experience offered to attendees where they can enjoy the various preparations of typical Colombian avocado food.

Avolabs will be spaces for companies that are developing trends and experiences in nutraceutical, cosmetic, industrial or pharmaceutical matters. For this space, the World Avocado Congress has decided to appeal to the public to present its companies. If you are or know of a company that is working on this topic, you are invited to register by email: comercial@agrilink.co, where you can present your company and say why you want to participate. The selected companies will have a commercial space at the World Avocado Congress in which they will be able to exhibit and present their developments to the entire value chain and the sector.

Finally, Avosolutions will be specialised solution centres where experts from leading companies in the avocado industry will participate and share their knowledge, experience and expertise. The companies in these spaces will be: Procolombia, Agrosavia, SummitAgro, Finagro, Valvilla avocados.

So, the ninth edition of the World Avocado Congress will allow you to connect to the world of avocado in one place, through knowledge, experience and business.

For more information visit: www.worldavocadocongress.co

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African avocado arrives on European markets

African avocado arrives on European markets

Africa is becoming a major player in the booming avocado sector. Kenya’s avocado season started in March with demand high. The country’s production will compete with Peruvian produce which come onto the market with large volumes in May. Kenya expects to be able to begin exporting to China by the end of the season in August.

Meanwhile, South Africa has seen a lower harvest this year, partly due to a heat wave in October 2018, resulting in volumes down 35% compared with last year’s record-breaking season. The country’s export season has already begun, with the Hass variety currently being harvested. However, prices are much higher this year, with expectations for them to continue to rise until the end of May. This month represents a crucial window for South African exporters to benefit from relatively low availability on the European market, before Peruvian and Chilean avocados arrive.

 

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Peruvian avocado exports soar 26% higher

Peruvian avocado exports soar 26% higher

Peru’s avocado exports set a new record in 2018, reaching US$800 million, up 26% on 2017, according data published by the Lima Chamber of Commerce. Peru sends avocados to 35 destinations, the main one being the Netherlands, with US$275 million, followed by the US, with US$191 million, and Spain, with US$111 million. Since 2008, the country’s avocado exports have increased almost ten-fold, from US$84.8 million, having gained access to many markets, such as China, Costa Rica, South Korea, Belgium, Russia, Australia, Portugal New Zealand, the UAE and India.

Monica Chavez of Peru’s Chamber of Commerce said, “With these results, Peruvian avocados are demonstrating that they are not just a fashionable product, but part of a consumption trend in the most demanding international markets. The growing external demand has led to avocados being exported both as a fresh product as well as frozen, purée, salsas, oils and more.”

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Heatwave leads to 48% drop in California avocado crop

Heatwave leads to 48% drop in California avocado crop

California expects its lowest avocado harvest in a decade due to last year’s intense heat wave across the state. According to California Avocado Committee estimates, this year’s crop will be 79,000 tons – 48% lower than last year’s 153,000 tons. The state’s crop fluctuates greatly on an annual basis, with its record harvest being recorded in 2010, when total production volumes reached 242,445 tons. Peru and South Africa also expect declines in their avocado crop this year. The president of the California Avocado Committee, Tom Bellamore, said, “There are areas that should have had a much better production, but were really affected by temperatures that exceeded 38°C, some places recorded 46 or 47°C for a short period of time, and unfortunately that affected the trees and fruit production.” The low temperatures in the previous months and forest fires may also have contributed to the low forecast.

The good news is that heavy winter rains have led to more robust trees, which could result in larger sizes. The season will be shorter than last year’s and is expected to offer maximum volumes between the end of March and July. The season usually extends until September.

 

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EU avocado prices to lower over the long-term

EU avocado prices to lower over the long-term

The world’s production of Hass avocado is estimated to grow on average by around 230,000 tons per year over the next five years, an increase of 14%. The US and the EU markets currently receive about 90% of global avocado imports, with imports increasing on average by 85,000 and 70,000 tons a year respectively over the last five years. Despite growing demand, the Asian avocado market still relatively small, with China and Hong Kong together importing 53,000 tons in 2017.

After climbing steadily for several years, avocado prices in the EU dropped in 2018. The dramatic fall in the summer was mainly due to the increased supply from Peru, where exports have tripled. And the EU avocado market looks set to change for good, with established producers like Mexico and South Africa increasing output, joined by new producers like Kenya, Colombia, Brazil and Morocco. Avocado supply to the EU will continue to grow and result in mismatches similar to those witnessed last summer.

There is still plenty of room for Europe’s avocado market to expand further. In 2018, the EU’s avocado supply reached 636,000 tons. Per capita consumption is 1.2 kg per year. If consumption across the region rises to the level of the Nordic countries (just over 2 kg), the market could reach over 1 million tons. Particularly in southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Germany, avocado consumption is still rather low.

 

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Tropical Fruit Congress, the point on world and European production of mango and avocado

Tropical Fruit Congress

The Tropical Fruit Congress, held on 11th-12th May within the Macfrut fair in Rimini, was a sell-out. This first edition was dedicated to mango and avocado with speakers from across the world discussing production, trade and consumption trends. The first day focused on marketing and quality, while  the second day, coordinated by  the journalist Pierre Escodo, turned the spotlight on production.

Daniel José Bustamante Canny, president of ProHass Peru outlined how this variety is produced in Peru and other South American producing countries. “Chile is the oldest producer in South America, while Peru is the number-one exporter to European markets. Colombia is the real rising star and has been growing very fast in the past few years. It is the only country that can guarantee supply all year round.”

The Hass variety has conquered Europe and is the most cultivated in South America. According to AMAP data, in 2018 Peru expects to produce over 300 thousand tons of Hass avocado on an area of ​​almost 30,000 hectares. Chile, the second largest supplier of avocados to European markets, has an area of ​​23,500 hectares and produces 225,000 tons of Hass. In third place comes Colombia, with about 80,000 tons from 15,000 hectares. Now the sixth largest exporter to Europe, Colombia has seen exports to the continent increase by over 55% between 2016 and 2017 with a further rise of 33% forecast in 2018.

Outside South America, Europe also has a growing ​​avocado production area. Spain is now the world’s seventh highest producing country, with an area of ​​about 10,000 hectares and a yield of about 6,000 tons per hectare (12% of which is in the Canary Islands). Spanish avocado is entirely sold on the domestic market. Enrique Colilles, general manager of the Spanish company Trops, considered the situation in Europe regarding production, trade and consumption of both avocados and mangoes. “The avocado market is experiencing great growth in consumption in most EU countries, with an average annual per capita of 1 kg (2.5 kg in Scandinavia),” said Colilles. Between 2015 and 2017, European consumption recorded an annual growth of 20% and still has a lot of remaining potential. The industry is now focused on selling the fruit at the perfect degree of ripeness as the consumer is still not able to recognise when this fruit is ripe.” Italy has also started producing avocados, mainly in Sicily, with about 260 hectares on mainly abandoned or exhausted lands that have been reclaimed and converted to the production of this type of fruit.

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The Dominican Republic sees fast growth in avocado exports

avocado rep domenicana

Exports of the Dominican Republic’s avocados have increased by over 150% since 2006, and now exceed US$30 million a year. The main destinations for its production are the US, Spain, France, Holland, the UK and Italy.

World avocado production stands at around 4.7 million tons, of which the Dominican Republic produces 8% (nearly 400 thousand tons), making it the world’s number two producer behind Mexico, which produces 31%. However, as the Dominican Republic is just number twelve in terms of exports, it is clear that domestic consumption of the fruit is high.

In a statement the entity said that the Dominican Republic ranks number 12 as the world exporter of avocado, which indicates that the country’s consumption is high. The country’s main varieties are Carla, Semil 34, and Hass (small and with purple rind).

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Exports of Andalusian avocado and mango rise in value

125TROP mangos

In the period from September to December 2017, avocado exports from Andalusia dropped by 2% in volume and increased by 16% in value compared to the same period last season. Exports to the European markets showed ​​similar values to last season, whereas volumes sent to the extra-European market accounted for 6% of the total, down by 34% compared to the
previous campaign.

Andalusia mango exports

Source: Observatorio de precios y mercados

Meanwhile, the region’s mango exports have increased by 17% in volume and 15% in value with respect to the previous season. The growth in value was less than the growth in volume terms as the unit value slipped 2% in the European market this campaign. Overall, the monthly trend of exports to the European market remains little changed from last year, although September saw higher export volumes than last season.

 

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Chile’­s exports of avocados to Australia move a step closer

DSCF4212 Hass avocado on the tree

A review of biosecurity import requirements is now underway to determine the viability of Chile’s exports of avocado to Australia and should be ready by the end of 2018. A preliminary assessment of Chilean avocados found potential pests are the same as those previously assessed by the department for other horticultural products, meaning no further risk management measures should be required for avocado imports.

If Chile’s application is accepted, the country’s producers will most likely ship to Australia during the summer months, when demand usually outstrips supply, especially in January and February.  However, there are a lot of new plantings in Australia, which have yet to reach full maturity. So, it remains to be seen whether there will be sustained demand for imported fruit.