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Peruvian Avocado Shortfall Drives Prices 40–50% Higher Than Last Season

April 15, 2024

Peruvian media reports indicate a 40–50% increase in avocado prices compared with last season. Shipping volumes in the first quarter of 2024 were notably low, and early projections suggest that Peru will only export 468,000 metric tons of the fruit this year, corresponding to a 16% year-on-year decrease in export volume compared with the 558,000 metric tons exported in 2023.

Juan Carlos Paredes, president of the Peruvian Hass Avocado Growers Association (ProHass), highlighted the adverse impact of high temperatures and heavy rainfall in the first months of 2024. Under normal circumstances, he claimed, Peru would have been able to export up to 700,000 metric tons of Hass avocados this season. However, this will not be possible to realize on account of the aforementioned climate challenges. In particular, small fruit sizes and fruit drop were observed in some areas, especially Trujillo (La Libertad) and Chiclayo (Lambayeque).

Production is forecast to decline by 30% in the northern coastal regions and 15–20% in the central and southern coastal areas. However, these reductions may be partially offset by strong yields in the highlands of the Sierra region. Paredes mentioned that approximately 300 containers of Hass avocados are being shipped weekly from the Sierra, underscoring the region’s significance as a key driver of Peru’s Hass avocado exports.

Among other major avocado producers, Mexico saw reduced output after its main season, while California experienced a 20–30% decline. Chile is facing issues with water scarcity in production zones, and with most avocados consumed domestically, global export share remains relatively modest. Strong consumer demand is expected to keep the price of Peruvian avocados high, averaging $3.10–3.50 per kilogram until approximately week 25. Whether these higher prices can offset the drop in production remains uncertain.

Paredes also outlined plans to boost avocado exports to the United States this year, leveraging potential shortages in the supply from Mexico. With the reduced availability driving up prices, Europe also represents an attractive market. Avocado shipments from the Sierra are already being exported to Asia, and given the high quality and positive consumption trends, Paredes remains optimistic.

Noting the enthusiasm of Malaysian consumers for Peruvian avocados, Paredes also anticipated an increase in the market penetration rates in existing markets. He emphasized the untapped potential in regions of the United States and many European countries, highlighting the need for Peru to stimulate consumption in these areas. At the same time, Chile remains an important market for Peruvian avocados, commanding a market share of 8–14%.

Image: Unsplash

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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