Extension of the Peruvian avocado season has created oversupply and low prices on the European market, according to a report from the South African Avocado Growers Association.
Overseas technical officer, Richard Nelson, reported diversion from the typical undersupply seen in Europe in September and October. During this time, Peruvian supply typically dips off before higher volumes arrive of Chilean Hass.
"This undersupply situation usually results in very good sales prices being realised for South Africa's end of season avocado exports to Europe. This is unfortunately not the case this season – the European avocado market is currently oversupplied with avocados and prices are low especially for larger count greenskins," Nelson said.
Although the Peruvian supply typically loses steam in mid-July, Nelson reported high arrivals from Peru continuing through the end of September. He described recent arrivals of Peruvian fruit as over ripe and of poor quality.
Oversupply has been encouraged by particularly high volume from South Africa, which will be exaggerated by recent vessel arrivals from the nation.
"I have not seen a major backlog of South African avocado stock in either Rotterdam or Rungis warehouses, but this is perhaps partially due to the fact that in Week 38 there were no European avocado deliveries from South Africa and limited volumes of South African avocados received in Europe during Week 39 (due to vessel delays and changes in port rotation)," Nelson said.
"However in Week 40 fruits from two South African vessels have been received in Europe, which will put the avocado market under further pressure."
Nelson anticipated continued poor sales prices.