Mexican avocado exports to rise 5% in 2018-19
That figure is according to Ramón Paz, president of the Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Avocado in Mexico (APEAM), who said the current campaign began on July 1.
Exports during the 2017-18 season reached 1.02 million metric tons (MT), of which around 867,000 MT went to the U.S.
That season saw year-on-year growth of 15%, although the previous campaign had seen a sharp decline amid internal conflicts in the Mexican avocado industry.
Paz said volumes have now returned to normal.
The new season began on July 1, "but with remnants of the previous harvest" which lasted around three weeks, said Paz. All volumes now coming from the new harvest.
Paz said Mexico would have enough fruit to supply all of its markets in the coming campaign. Aside from the U.S., Mexico ships to various regions around the world.
"We have had a diversification strategy for several years now. Our second market is Japan, and the third is Canada. We have been increasing our exports to China, we have regained market share in Europe and we are also sending to Chile and Argentina,” said Paz.
Like many other Northern Hemisphere countries this summer, Mexico has been experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures in excess of 50°C in some states, but Paz believed the avocado industry would not have any issues.
He pointed out that a heatwave had also hit the country in April, and had not had a significant impact on the fruit's maturing process.
"Maybe a bit of the fruit that was growing at the time [of the heatwave] is going to be smaller, and fruit might be harvested a little earlier in the season," he said.
However, he emphasized that "they are pure speculations, because the truth is that the harvest has not suffered anything, we did not see fruit drop and there is no dehydration”.
Despite this, he acknowledged that such temperatures throughout all of Mexico are unusual and that there are regions such as the central State of Mexico where it has been far hotter than normal.
Erika Hernández, of the Mexican National Meteorological Service said the heatwave is affecting almost the entire country and has resulted in lower rainfall than normal.
But while temperatures remain high for now, she said they are expected to decrease in the future.