Peru: Avocado, blueberry returns fail to keep up with volume surge

November 19 , 2018

Peru has notched massive growth in export volume for both blueberries and avocados this year, but returns have not been able to follow the same path.

Arturo Medina Castro of the Peruvian Hass Avocado Growers’ Association (ProHass) told Agraria.pe [in Spanish] that there were “unsustainably low prices” this year due to the 47% rise in avocado volumes to 335,601MT and the concentration of shipments.

Meanwhile, Peru’s blueberry exports through October this year were up by 51% year-on-year in volume at 40,580 metric tons (MT), but up only 24% in value at US$308.8 million, according to figures from Perucamaras’ Business Research Center.

Export volumes of both commodities have been growing at a significant rate over recent years.

Avocado prices slide in Europe and U.S.

Medina reportedly said this had been the worst year for Hass avocados on record, with the average price achieved in Europe this season US$1.70 per kilo compared to US$2.60 last year. In the U.S., it was US$2.00 per kilo compared to US$3.00 last year.

“[The industry] had estimated exports of 280,000MT this year. The reality, however, was much higher. Nobody expected such a large growth. By week 41, fruit was still being dispatched,” he told Agraria.pe.

He said that this year had come in stark contrast to the previous three years, especially 2017, which had been positive for the industry.

The climate did not allow avocados to reach the required percentage of dry matter on the correct date, he added. As a result, when this requirement was met, heavy volumes were concentrated in just a few weeks.

Around 61% of Hass avocado shipments were sent to Europe and 21% to the U.S.

 

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