Chile expects major increase in avocado production
In marketing year (MY) 2021-22 Chile will produce 220,000 metric tons (MT) of avocado, a 57 percent increase over MY2020-21, due to favorable climatic conditions.
In MY2020-21 avocado production reached 140,000MT, a low production year due to drought and early frost, according to a USDA report.
Eighty-nine percent of the avocados planted in Chile are the Hass variety and planted area reached over 30,000 hectares in 2020.
The region of Valparaiso is the main avocado production region with 20,000 hectares, representing 67 percent of the total avocado planted area, followed by the Metropolitan and Coquimbo regions.
The avocado planted area in these latter regions is decreasing as water availability drops. Due to drought, avocado producers shift to other profitable crops such as citrus, walnuts or cherries.
Demand for avocados is strong from both the domestic market and the export market, which has pushed prices upwards in the past two marketing years.
Avocado domestic consumption in MY2021-22 will reach 100,000MT which represents almost 46 percent of production.
The average consumer price for avocado increased significantly between January and May 2021 due to the seasonality of Chilean avocado production, but also because of lower domestic supply that came from reduced production in MY2020-21.
In August prices started to decrease as domestic production increased, stabilizing around US$4.70 per kilogram.
In CY2021 (data until September), Chilean avocado exports decreased by 58 percent in volume year-on-year, totaling 16,400MT, and by 50 percent in value totaling $42.8 million.
The top export destinations for Chilean avocados are the Netherlands, Argentina, the UK, and the U.S. Domestic avocado consumption will reach 100,000MT in MY2021-22.