Mexican avocado export value soared by nearly a third in Q1
Mexican avocado exports saw huge year-on-year growth of nearly a third in the first quarter of the year, spurred on by market and weather conditions.
The value of exports from January through March rose by 28% from US$640m to US$822m, according to Banco de Mexico figures.
The uptick was driven by a huge increase in March, with exports rising by 56% from US$243 to US$365m. There was also growth in January and February but it was more modest.
The record figures were achieved thanks to favorable growing conditions in Mexico, as well as strong market conditions in the U.S., its leading destination by far.
While Mexico notched the highest export value ever recorded in March, it is not the higher-ever month - which came in August 2019 with exports of US$395m.
U.S. retail sales of avocados in March spiked as shoppers stocked up on groceries at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Weekly sales in the last three weeks of the month were up by between 17% and 28% year-on-year.
Sales in the weeks since then have been more varied but still highly elevated, with weekly growth ranging from 2% to 20%.
Mexican avocados were also the main drivers of a 4% uptick in U.S. fruit imports in the first quarter of the year. Imports were valued at US$706m in the period, according to USDA data, meaning that around 16% of the Latin American country's shipments went to other markets, such as Canada, Japan and Europe.
Total Mexican avocado exports in 2019 were valued at US$2.9bn.