Avocados in Charts: Record volumes send U.S. prices to below pre-strike levels

December 18 , 2018

In this ‘In Charts‘ series of mini-articles, Colin Fain of data visualization tool Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. In each series, he will look at a different fruit commodity, focusing on a different origin or topic in each installment to see what factors are driving change.

Below is the exact same chart I use to open my previous article on this topic from a few weeks ago: Avocados in Charts: How does the Mexican growers’ strike compare to 2016?. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend doing so, as pretty much every scenario layed out has played out as expected.

So moving forward in time five weeks, we can see very clearly the effects of the strike which started affecting the markets on Oct. 30. A massive gap in shipments was complemented by rising prices, followed immediately by a huge swell in volume, quickly bringing prices down even below pre-strike levels.

US Avocado Prices and Volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]

Comparing the last four years of volume data aggregated weekly, the effects of the strike are even more pronounced - hitting not only the lowest volume that any single week has recorded in the last four years, but quickly spiking and setting a new record for the most volume ever shipped week 47, which is also the second-highest volume ever recorded.

The highest was week 1 of 2016, but I actually suspect this might have been an accounting error by the USDA’s reporting system, as the week prior had an unusually low volume and doesn't really match up with the trends observed over the last couple of years.

US Weekly Historic Avocado Volumes (KG)

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here*]

So after 16 days of striking and a massive shock to the markets, what does this all add up to? In the article by Fresh Fruit Portal Mexican avocado strikes end as agreement is reachedRamon Paz, a spokesperson for the industry association, said that the parties had “agreed to increase the transparency of information so that everyone knows the reality of the market, the costs and the marketing margins”.

This last point was exactly what I had suggested in the last article and something that I strongly encourage. I also mentioned, I believe that there are a lot of reasons why the supply chain isn’t as transparent as it could be, but with a renewed emphasis on the subject I am very curious to see what the industry will come up with.


In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

Agronometrics is a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that you depend on. We strive to help farmers, shippers, buyers, sellers, movers and shakers get an objective point of view on the markets to help them make informed strategic decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily recreate these same graphs, or explore the other 23 fruits we currently track, creating your own reports automatically updated with the latest data daily.

To welcome Avocado professionals to the service we want to offer a 10% discount off your first month or year with the following coupon code: AVOCADOS

The code will only be good till the 1st of January 2019, so visit us today.

*To view historics click on this icon in the table. In the historics report you can change viewing to reflect seasons that cross New Years.

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