Europe: Avocado prices expected to recover as Peruvian season wraps up

November 22 , 2018

A U.K.-based fruit supplier says that the end of the Peruvian avocado season in Europe will lead to improved market conditions, following a protracted period of oversupply and low prices.

Peru has now finished its export season, meaning the main players in the European market will now be the likes of Chile, Colombia, Spain, Israel, and the Dominican Republic.

Heavy volumes in Europe over recent months from countries including Peru, South Africa and Colombia led to what was described as an “extreme situation” in the market, with prices in early July as low as €4.00 – € 5.00 for a 4kg box.

“The Peruvian season has gone on three weeks longer this year compared to last year and this may be the trend for the future as more plantations come on stream,” said Sudhir Mehta, commercial director at produce supplier Minor Weir & Willis.

He said that major supplying countries over recent months had shipped around 15 – 25% more volume year-on-year, compared to market growth of just 8 – 12%.

He added that the large supplies came “at a time when most of Europe was on vacation and there was a subdued demand”.

But he expected prices to increase now that Peru and South Africa have wrapped up their seasons.

He also anticipated there would likely continue to be oversupply situations in the coming years, as Peru, South Africa and Colombia continue to extend their seasons and increase production. 

“Is an actual opportunity because as prices become lower, hopefully, more people will try [the fruit] and the market will start to grow quicker,” he said.

Recent average price levels have been close to €8 (US$ 9.10) per box on large sizes and €9 – 10 (US$10.20 – 11.40) for medium sizes, but he expected this to edge up in the coming weeks.

Aside from the recent oversupply issues, Mehta said that quality overall has been good.

“Colombian arrivals still have some way to go in their presentation, but they are an emerging source which with each year that goes by will improve. Quality from both Peru and South Africa has been good,” he said.

He added that Spain, France and the U.K. have been the “stars” in recent years in terms of demand growth.

“The Russian market is just now becoming aware of the Hass variety and I see it being a big consumer of avocado in the future, especially when they move to a Ripe and Ready to eat standard,” he said.

Photo: Shutterstock.com

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