Chile downgrades avocado shipment forecast
Chile's Hass Avocado Committee has forecast exports will be 20% less than expected this season, leading to a decline of close to a third on last year's shipments.
Committee president Adolfo Ochagavía told www.freshfruitportal.com productive zones had been affected by drought, leading many growers to change crops or simply leave their fields unused.
"We originally thought we would take on 100,000 metric tons (MT), but today we believe it should be around 80,000MT," he said.
"Without having confirmed data, I believe production for this year will be between 165,000MT and 170,000MT, which is 30,000MT less than last year."
This means around half the crop will go to the local market where demand is strong, compared to a 42% domestic participation last season.
Competition with Mexico in the U.S. is another factor driving the decline in exports.
"The reason why we have sent so few fruit to the U.S. compared to other seasons is because the United States market is very well supplied with Mexican avocados, so domestic prices in the U.S. have been lower."
In the season to week 46, Chile had sent 24,500MT of avocados to Europe, 9,200MT to the United States and 4,000MT to Argentina.