South Africa: Weather has "severe impact" on avocado season

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South Africa: Weather has

An array of adverse climatic conditions including hailstorms and high temperatures combined with the drought have taken their toll on South Africa's avocado crops, resulting in a shortened season that saw small-sized fruit. shutterstock_112702072

South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) CEO Derek Donkin said that instead of lasting into November as is traditionally the case, the season is already drawing to a close.

"These adverse weather conditions had a severe impact on the 2016 avo season. Our avos were smaller and a little more blemished than normal," Donkin said in a release.

"In addition, there was no out-of-season crop on the trees this year – fruit that is usually picked in October, so the season has ended early.

"There will, however, be very limited quantities of avos available from some late-producing regions in South Africa over the next few weeks."

Given the season's early end and South African consumers' increasing demand for the fruit, Donkin said avocados would have to be imported earlier until the 2017 deal begins in late February or early March.

"Suppliers will start importing avos from November 2016. Due to the high cost involved in buying and shipping these avos from Spain and Israel, there will be an increase in the price of avos on our shelves this summer," Donkin said.

Many farmers have already reported strong flowering on their trees for the 2017 season, but all agree that the success of the season will depend on how much rain is received.

"There is potential for a good crop in 2017, but this is dependent on adequate rainfall in October and November. There is a chance we could see smaller fruit again next year, with some blemishing, but as with this year’s avos, these marks won’t affect the quality of the fruit inside," he said.

"Consumers can still look forward to same high quality taste and texture they have come to expect from our local avos."



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