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ProHass: Drop in Global Avocado Supply Expected in 2024

February 01, 2024

The president of the Peruvian Hass Avocado Growers Association (ProHass), Juan Carlos Paredes, has projected that the upcoming season will see a decrease in avocado production worldwide. According to his estimates, which he shared in an interview with Redagrícola, the El Niño phenomenon will continue to bring weather anomalies that will affect both fruit size and harvested volumes. Paredes also reported that production challenges are currently being observed in not only Peru but also Mexico and Spain. The lower supply, however, is unlikely to cause significant financial losses to the industry, as it should drive up prices globally.

According to the data released by ProHass, Peru’s avocado exports in 2023 reached approximately 570,000 metric tons, about 3% higher than the export volume registered in 2022. As noted by Paredes, the statistics vary depending on whether they are obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture or customs authorities, but in the worst case, the sector may refer to a decrease of 1%.

In January of last year, ProHass projected 12.5% year-on-year growth for its 2023 exports, but this was revised to 8% in July on account of smaller fruit size. The reduced size affected the overall volumes shipped by Peru to its international markets as well as the prices that traders were willing to pay. Paredes noted that, based on his own calculations, the size of avocados decreased by about 20% compared with fruit from prior years. He explained that the growth of avocados was affected by high temperatures, with some parts of the country even witnessing fruit drop.

In terms of export destinations, Paredes reported that the majority of Peruvian avocados in 2023 were destined for Europe, with significant volumes also shipped to Asian markets, particularly China and Korea, in the first half of the year.

Moving forward, Peru’s avocado sector continues to work on expanding its planting areas, especially in the highlands, where fruit matures before or after the peak harvest months of March and April in other regions. This reduces the risk of oversupply while also prolonging the Peruvian avocado season. Commenting on the matter, Paredes remarked that this expansion is taking place, albeit not at the same rate as before.

The current focus of ProHass, nonetheless, is on the existing avocado plantations and their performance in 2024. Though the official forecast will be released only in February, current observations suggest that trees will bear less fruit this year. A reduced number of avocados on each tree normally indicates that the fruit will be of a larger size. However, the exact size will be determined by the weather over the next several months.

Image: iStock

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