Peru’s avocado season has been running later than normal due to weather-related issues but is set to see volumes rise by up to a quarter year-on-year, according to Daniel Bustamante, president of industry association ProHass.
He told Fresh Fruit Portal that volumes would normally be shipped until around mid- or late August, but this year it looked like they would go until late September.
“Peru is shipping significant volumes to all the markets it supplies and the natural rise in production is what we had expected,” he said, adding the industry was forecasting an increase of 20-25%.
He said that in general Peruvian avocados had fared well in their markets, especially in the country’s southern neighbor, Chile, where prices have been very high over recent months.
“At the start of the campaign the prices in Chile were very high compared to the returns we were generating in other markets,” he said.
In Europe, however, prices have fallen dramatically over recent weeks on the back of large imports from Peru and South Africa, which is also harvesting a bumper crop.
While Europe remains Peru’s leading market, Bustamante highlighted that the strongest growth was being seen in shipments to China, where Peru began exporting three years ago.
“China is a market that is growing a lot, volumes are rising to Argentina and Chile, and Europe and the U.S. are also experiencing strong growth,” he said.
U.S. importer perspective
Meanwhile, a representative of California-headquartered West Pak Avocado said interest has been growing in Peruvian avocado programs over recent years on the back rising demand in the U.S.
“We are seeing an increased interest in customers participating in supply from each of the origins during their peak seasons, so that they can have a diversified supply chain – not just now, but for the future,” senior vice president of sales and marketing Doug Meyer said.
“The reality is everybody’s growing – all our customers out there are growing their avocado programs – and as they look at their projections they see that they’re going to need more and more avocados in the future, so they want to be strategically aligned with all of the sources that supply the U.S.
Meyer added that the summer months are potentially a volatile period for the U.S. avocado market overall, with Mexico’s crop winding down and transitioning to their new crop, California’s crop winding down in July and August, and Peru’s crop in the market with their peak volumes arriving in July, then winding down in August to September.
Meyer added that the summer months usually see high consumption in the U.S. as well, with a lot of activity during the run-up to the Fourth of July.