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Avocado: European demand growing by 19%


The EU continues to rely mostly on overseas sources to feed its growing demand for avocados.

Avocado consumption in the EU is still categorised by imports from countries outside the community to satisfy internal demand, despite the fact that the European producing market is also increasing year after year.

Last year, the EU traded 530,000 tons of avocados, 305,200 t imported and another 225,000 t from the domestic market. In total, this represented a volume of €886,000 last year. Comparing figures for the last three years, we can see that the banana trade has shown an upward trend. In 2012 the total figure was 390,000 tons, of which 173,300 were domestic and 216,800 from abroad. This is an increase of 19% compared to 2013, a year in which demand also grew by double digits + 14%.

If we compare the value in euros of this trade, it obviously also reflects a cash flow boost. In 2012, the total avocado trade in the EU represented 633 billion (302 billion from the domestic market and 331 from abroad). In 2013, 785 billion (365 billion in domestic trade and 420,000 from abroad) and finally, in 2014, 886 billion in total (430 billion from the EU market 456,500 from abroad).

Holland the top supplier

Among countries with avocado imports, Holland leads, with 120,300 tons in 2012, 143,600 in 2013 and 168,700 tons in 2014, reflecting an increase in annual demand of roughly 20,000-25,000 t. Europe’s second largest buyer and consumer of avocado is France, with 94,500 tons of imports in 2012, 100,000 in 2013 and 119,000 in 2014. Next is the UK with 38,000 traded in 2012 ,41,000 t in 2013 and 51,500 in 2014. As for avocado sources, Holland and France rely on foreign markets for their annual consumption of this fruit, the Netherlands with 85% and the UK with 70%. In turn, France shares out the trade 50-50 between domestic and foreign sources. Other avocado consumers in Europe are Spain and Germany.

In 2012 34,000 tons were traded in the Spanish market , in 2013, 41,000 t and in 2014, 52,700 t, mainly sourced from markets outside the EU. The figures for Germany show that in 2012 they traded almost 29,000 t, 31,400 in 2013 and 37,400 in 2014. The Czech Republic is another country mainly supplied by other community countries, with around 19,000 tons, importing hardly anything from abroad. As for Sweden, in 2014 , of the entire 19,300 traded, only 1,068 came from direct imports. Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Lithuania are other countries which, with lower trading volumes, rely more on domestic avocado than externally sourced fruit.


This article first appeared on page 115 of edition 139 (Sept/Oct 2015) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more of that issue online by clicking on its icon here:

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Peru’s fruit and vegetable sector leads its non-traditional exports

Peruvian products have high-quality standards and are conquering new markets.

Peru produces fruit and vegetables of excellent quality throughout the year. With delicious taste, colour and aroma, they are strategically exported in off-season periods to the northern hemisphere.

The fresh fruit and vegetable industry is the most dynamic of the non-traditional export industries. Due to the nature of the market, it generates a whole chain of value in related services, including logistics, cold chain, certifications, and supplies amongst others; creating jobs and infrastructure.

Peruvian products also meet the quality and safety standards required by their customers. Companies are certified with international standards such as ISO, HACCP, TESCO and BRC. They also meet the strict standards of good agricultural practices (GLOBAL.G.A.P.) under the supervision of health authorities in the major markets. These efforts are in addition to the continued improvement of production processes and services by applying cutting-edge technology.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru recently announced the signing of the protocol for Hass avocado access to the Chinese market, which in the short term will mean additional exports of about 11,500-16,100 tons of this product. This would result in further revenues of US $30 million-50 million every year.

In 2014 about 199,000 tons of Hass avocados were exported and the growth rate was 40% per year, so the signing of this protocol represents a great opportunity for farmers.

Peru has become specialised in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables that are exported fresh and processed to niche markets demanding high quality. Hence, the training of human resources in tasks such as sorting and processing is continuously improving. Thanks to these advances, Peru is the world’s leading exporter of asparagus and paprika, and occupies the top spot in other premium products.

Finally, in the case of grapes, a very important market for this fruit has been found in the Chinese market, especially during the Lunar New Year period, currently taking 13% of Peruvian exports.

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Mexico expects stronger avocado exports in 2014/2015



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

Click here to see photo source
Click here to see source of map showing Michoacán