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Global Avocado Exports Contract in 2022 Amid Mexico Supply Shortage

October 12, 2023

According to the Major Tropical Fruits Market Review 2022 report recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global avocado exports fell by 3.1% to 2.5 million metric tons in 2022 because of adverse weather conditions in Mexico, the world’s largest avocado supplier. Despite robust growth in exports from other producing countries, this still could not fully offset the supply shortage from Mexico. Strong global demand and high export prices continued to drive industry growth, prompting significant investments in production expansion by emerging suppliers.

Exports

According to the available data, Mexico’s avocado exports declined by 16.2% to 1.2 million metric tons in 2022, a decrease of over 200,000 metric tons compared with the previous year. Mexico typically accounts for 55–60% of global avocado exports owing to its year-round production and focus on the Hass variety, which enjoys the greatest demand from global markets. However, a destructive storm in June 2022 and a prolonged drought in major producing regions caused Mexico’s share of global avocado exports to drop to 46%. In the first eight months of 2022, supply shortages and strong demand from the United States pushed the average export unit value of Mexican avocados to $4,294 per metric ton, an increase of approximately 87% compared with the same period of the previous year. The annual average for 2022 stood at $3,092 per metric ton, which was still approximately 28% higher than that in 2021.

Meanwhile, Peru’s avocado exports continued to benefit from favorable weather conditions and efforts to expand production. Data from the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture show that between 2017 and 2021, the country’s harvested area for avocados expanded by an impressive 67%. In 2022, Peru’s avocado exports saw 4.7% growth, reaching 584,000 metric tons and claiming a 23% share of global exports. This marked an increase from the previous year’s 21%, further solidifying Peru’s position as the world’s second-largest avocado supplier.

Kenya is an emerging avocado supplier globally as well as a key exporter in Africa. In 2022, the country’s avocado exports surged by 8.6% to reach 103,000 metric tons. Official production data reported to the FAO reveal that the country has made substantial strides in expanding its avocado cultivation area in recent years. The harvested area has nearly tripled since 2015, reaching 25,918 hectares by 2021. Over half of Kenya’s avocado shipments are sent to the European Union, where they have proved very competitive owing to their attractively low prices.

In 2022, Chilean avocado exports saw a substantial increase of 11.3%, reaching 110,000 metric tons. Nevertheless, further growth in exports was impeded by robust domestic demand and production challenges due to drought. Meanwhile, South Africa experienced a bumper harvest in 2022, with exports surging by 19.3% to 63,000 metric tons. Trade data indicate that the European Union accounted for approximately 75% of South Africa’s avocado exports in 2022.

Imports

According to the available data and information, global avocado imports in 2022 witnessed a 7% decline to 2.4 million metric tons. Despite robust market demand from the United States and European Union, which accounted for 45% and 28%, respectively, of global imports in 2022, the worldwide avocado trade was hampered by inadequate supplies from Mexico.

In 2022, the United States imported 1.1 million metric tons of avocados, marking a 6.4% decrease, while the European Union imported 677,000 metric tons, remaining relatively stable. Notably, the Italian, Polish and French markets demonstrated strong growth, with Italy’s imports in particular experiencing a remarkable 22% increase.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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