Chilean avocado exports forecast flat this season - USDA

Chilean avocado exports forecast flat this season - USDA

Chilean avocado exports for the 2020 season are likely to end up at a similar level to last year, according to a new report.

A recently released USDA report forecast that export volume will "remain unchanged" at 145,000 metric tons (MT) for the season that is now in its final stages.

"Chilean avocado exports peak between October and December along with the bulk of the harvest season. Avocado exports in September and October of 2020 have been lower than in the same period in 2019," the report said.

But it expected shipments would "catch up" in November and December.

In 2019, Chilean avocado exports increased by 9.1 percent in volume year-on-year, totaling 144,620 metric tons (MT) and $301 million.

Chile’s main export market for avocados is the Netherlands, followed by Argentina, and the U.K.

In terms of production, Chilean avocado planted area totaled 30,143 hectares in 2020, having remained steady since around 2015. The USDA report stated that expectations are for production in 2021 of 220,000MT, assuming planted area and productivity remain unchanged.

This is below the approximately 300,000MT produced in the country around a decade ago, but above the 150,000MT produced four years later after the drought took its toll on orchards.

Valparaiso is the top avocado production region with 20,318 hectares (ha) which represents 67.4 percent of total avocado planted area. Metropolitana and Coquimbo regions hold 14 percent and 13.2 percent of the avocado planted area respectively.

Chileans consume around 30 percent of the domestic avocado production.