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Peru set to maintain avocado export level despite El Niño

According to SUNAT and the Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC), last year 27% of Peru’s avocado exports went to the US and 65% to the EU. Exports to the US are expected to total about 45,000 tons this year.

Peru is set to produce about 180,000 tons of avocados for export this year, an amount roughly equal to last year,

According to a USDA GAIN report, this is despite the 2015-16 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) weather phenomena delaying the country’s avocado harvest.

However, while Peru’s avocado production in April – which along with May and June is when its production is at its heaviest  – was roughly equivalent to April last year, at about at 44,000 tons, it is about 17% down on 2014’s production of about 53,000 tons.

The report says that Peru’s Hass avocado producers’ association (PROHASS) attributes a bloom drop in the northern growing areas to El Niño-related warmer than normal temperatures, accompanied by higher humidity and rains.

At the same time, lower than normal temperatures accompanied by drier conditions brought the harvest in earlier than anticipated in the south-central growing areas.

According to GAIN sources, export control measures contributed to delaying the harvest by one month.

“Despite the lower production numbers, SUNAT (Peru’s customs and tax authority) reports 40% higher export volumes and a 50% increase in export values for the January-April 2016 period compared to 2015’s figures. This might be due to avocados grown for local consumption being shifted to the export channel,” the report says.

According to SUNAT and the Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC), last year 27% of Peru’s avocado exports went to the US and 65% to the EU. Exports to the US are expected to total about 45,000 tons this year.

In August 2015, Peru won approval to ship Hass avocados to Japan and China and is this year expected to ship about 5,000 tons to these two markets.

Source: Peru: El Niño and Export Controls Delay Peru’s Avocado Harvest
Image: Hass avocado by sandid via Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

 

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El Niño hits Ecuadorian mango

Mango is the world’s fourth most widely traded fruit and Ecuador is one of the main exporters worldwide.

Volumes in this campaign are uncertain due to climate phenomenon El Niño.

High temperatures, the early rains and uncertainty about the extent of the ravages of the El Niño phenomenon preclude accurate volume forecasts for this campaign, although Bernardo Malo, Mango Ecuador Foundation CEO, assures us that “this would mean 15% less than last year.”

Mango is the world’s fourth most widely traded fruit and Ecuador is one of the main exporters worldwide. The Ecuadorian fruit is noted for quality, which has been on the rise thanks to recent investments at crop level, the wide range of varieties and the time of year it comes onto the market. Mango cultivation covers an area of 5,700 hectares with varieties such as Tommy Atkins (65%), Haden, Kent and Keitt available from October to January. Ecuador continues to explore most of its fruit to the US, which takes up 85%, while the remaining 15% is split between Europe, Canada, Mexico and other smaller markets such as Chile and Colombia.

Big challenges facing the sector

The Ecuador Mango Foundation CEO Bernardo Malo explains the situation in the country, with two scenarios worthy of note. “On one hand, the volume concentration throughout the season hasn’t been ideal. The best possible situation would be for the supply to be as regular as possible so that the markets stay healthy, which didn’t occur, as a significant amount of fruit built up over a few weeks. On the other hand, Ecuador is suffering the consequences of the strengthening dollar, which puts us at a disadvantage compared to other competitors in the region, like Brazil and Peru.”

So, explains the CEO, competitive edge is lost and it becomes harder to access certain markets, such as Colombia, whose currency has been devalued 50%, making it necessary to offload the product in markets where this disadvantage for Ecuadorians should be less acute, particularly the US. The Ecuadorian mango strategy to deal with these challenges will focus on becoming increasingly efficient in management and operational terms, improving productivity and mitigating the current issue of undermined competitive edge.