U.S.: Border closure threat sends Mexican Hass avocado prices through the roof

April 03 , 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to close the southern border are proving to be a windfall for Mexican avocado producers, Bloomberg reported.

The price of Hass avocados from Michoacan, the heartland of Mexican production and the only state currently authorized to export to the U.S., jumped 34% on Tuesday, the biggest gain in a decade.

Prices, which probably spiked as importers boosted purchases ahead of potential border issues, could double or triple if Trump makes good on his threat, said Roland Fumasi, an analyst at Rabobank. The Mexican Hass price was unchanged on Wednesday.

Mexico is the biggest supplier of the fruit, accounting for 75 percent to 80 percent of U.S. consumption, according to data from the Haas Avocado Board.

A heatwave last year in California delayed the harvest, making the U.S. even more reliant on Mexican supplies. “Because California is late and it’s a small crop, Mexico is accounting for nearly all of our avocados,” Fumasi said.

Avocados crossing from Mexico into Texas were fetching more than US$60 per 25 pound-carton, up from about US$42 a week ago and US$38 a year ago, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

“This is already the highest price we have at this time of year,” said David Magana, a vice president and senior analyst at Rabobank.

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