Mexican avocado production to rise 12% in 2011-12
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Avocado Annual, published by the Global Agricultural Information Network's (GAIN), has estimated the country will increase exports by 3% to 330,000MT during the marketing year.
GAIN has forecast a 10% rise in total avocado plantations during the period to 138,000 hectares, with growers looking to capitalize on strong domestic and international demand.
The state of Michoacán accounts for 85% of Mexican avocado production with 107,000 hectares of the Hass variety, and it is the only state in the country with authorization to export the fruit to the U.S. The second-largest producing region is the state of Jalisco, with 8,468 hectares of Hass avocadoes.
"At present, APHIS' (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) export inspection program has certified 63,402.216 hectares as eligible to export to the United States," the report said.
"Despite the relatively high cost of production, producing Mexican Hass avocadoes has been a profitable activity due to high domestic retail prices and increased exports."
The report said avocado yields vary from 8-9MT/ha to 14-15MT/ha, with an average productivity of 9.1MT/ha.
Mexico's fresh domestic consumption for the marketing year is expected to be 723,000MT, representing an increase of 16%.
"The vast majority of Mexico's avocado production is consumed domestically as avocadoes are a staple food in most Mexican households."
The United States accounts for 75% of Mexico's avocado exports, while Japan and Canada are also strategic market niches with 10% and 7% of the purchases respectively.
Positive results for Mexican agriculture
Mexican agricultural exports have reached a record US$18.6 billion from January to October, representing a 24% year-on-year increase, according to government statistics.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development and Fishing (SAGARPA) estimated by the end of the year this figure will climb to US$22 billion.
Agriculture business development secretary Ernesto Fernández, said it was normal for there to be a last-minute increase in exports at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, international agribusiness sales reached the US$9.9 billion mark.
Fernández said avocadoes and fruit juice were among the food products experiencing growing international demand, as well as coffee, tomatoes, shellfish, meat products and sugar.