Abundance of avocados expected in the U.S. market this summer

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Abundance of avocados expected in the U.S. market this summer

The U.S. market is expecting high volumes of Mexican avocados all the way through May when Peru will start to ship some of its fruit, to then be joined by the California crop, providing a strong supply of the fruit all throughout summer. 

Peru has been experiencing exponential growth in volumes towards the U.S., which should peak around June.

According to data from the USDA, in 2022, 269.65 million pounds of avocados from Peru were shipped to the U.S. The Peruvian Association of Hass Avocado Producers has indicated that in 2023, Peru expects to increase this volume further by 13%.

However, some believe this could be problematic for the marketplace. 

“There is going to be a lot of pressure on the market because Mexico and Peru have a very large crop, and they will intersect with the California crop which will start later this year due to the heavy rains,” Michael Chirico, President at McDaniel & Chirico Worldwide told FreshFruitPortal. 

Mexico continues to expand its avocado production with Jalisco now becoming a new producing region of exported avocados to the U.S.

According to the Association of Avocado Producers of Jalisco, they expect to export, by July 2023, between 80,000 to 100,000 tons of Jalisco avocados to the U.S.

The oversupply in the market could indicate good news for consumers. 

“Consumers are going to enjoy good retail pricing, a lot of promotable pricing with high-quality fruit,” said Chirico. 

However, for producers and importers who have to move their fruit, it will be a hard struggle with downward pressure on pricing. 

California crop

A very rainy winter in California has been especially good for California growers this year. 

“It costs a lot of money to irrigate avocados, so growers' costs for water were greatly reduced this year because of all the rainfall. Also, high amounts of rain help the trees leach out the salt from the soil and roots, which keeps trees healthier,” said Chirico. 

This, in essence, has taken the pressure off of growers to pick fruit quickly to pay for their water costs. This means that they are able to hang the fruit for longer, allowing it to size up, which is why the season will start later, as there is no hurry to harvest avocados at this point of the year. 

“Last year we were already 30 million pounds into the crop at this point, and this year we are only around five million,” added Chirico. 

The California crop will likely run until August this year, with good supply all throughout the Northern Hemisphere summer. 

U.S. Consumption

Consumption of avocado, even though it has slowed down, continues to grow in the U.S., mainly because of its health benefits, and the fact that it is not a replaceable product. 

“Avocados still enjoy consumer demand, but the growth patterns have slowed down because sustaining the double-digit  growth that we’ve had over the years is challenging, but mainly because food costs have risen exponentially so people are certainly watching their pockets more and more,” said Chirico. 

What comes ahead for avocados

In terms of supply, Chirico says there will likely be no issues because of the large amounts of fruit throughout the season. 

Overall, he considers the avocado industry is in a good spot, considering Jalisco opening up to the market and the growth of Peru, the industry will continue to grow in upcoming years. 

Colombia in the market

Colombia is the new player in the game and even though their volumes are small, there are high expectations for the South American country. 

In 2022, Colombia recorded sales volumes of $178.2 million, and the country expects a 25% increase in sales volume this year. 

“We had some Colombian fruit last year, and will most likely get some this year as well,” said Chirico. “Colombia continues to improve in their processes year over year to get their fruit to the U.S.. This year will be challenging because of the volume coming in from other countries of origin, but we do expect some volume.”

Chirico emphasizes the importance of having a strong domestic market in producing countries like Peru and Colombia. Something that Chile has been able to do very well which is why they have had to rely less on foreign markets to sell their fruit. 

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