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Smaller Mexican Crop Drives Down Global Avocado Exports in 2022

March 01, 2023

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently released a preliminary report reviewing the global avocado market in 2022. According to the report, a smaller crop in Mexico, the world’s largest avocado producer, is expected to have brought global avocado exports down to below 2.4 million metric tons, a year-on-year decrease of 6%. Increased exports from other countries reportedly only partially offset the reduced volume from Mexico.

Meanwhile, strong market demand alongside high export prices are believed to have promoted the further development of the global avocado industry and stimulated greater investment into the sector. Owing to substantial demand from the United States and the limited supply from Mexico, the average export unit value of avocados jumped to a record $3,400 per metric ton in March 2022. Over the first eight months of 2022, the average export unit value was 16% higher than that during the same period of the previous year, hitting the highest level recorded since 2017.

Exports of Mexican avocados fell by 32% in the first eight months of 2022, with the total export volume for the year estimated to have dropped by 380,000 metric tons to 1 million metric tons. In previous years, Mexican avocados have typically accounted for 55–60% of global exports. However, this market share is forecast to have decreased to approximately 40% in 2022. As a result of supply falling short of demand, the average export unit value of Mexican avocados shipped to the United States rocketed to $4,294 per metric ton in the first eight months of 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 87%.

Benefiting from favorable weather conditions and an expanded planting area, Peruvian avocados enjoyed higher production and better quality in 2022. According to the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture, the harvested area of avocados in the country grew by 67% over the five-year period from 2017 to 2021, with further investments focused especially on organic avocado production planned for 2022 to 2030. In the first three quarters of 2022, Peru’s avocado exports increased by 10%, with the export volume for the entire year estimated at 600,000 metric tons. This would correspond to Peru enjoying a 26% share of global avocado exports in 2022 and consolidate the country as the world’s second-largest supplier.

The average export unit value of Peruvian avocados was $1,580 per metric ton over the first nine months of 2022, 60% lower than that of Mexican avocados. These competitive prices were one of the major reasons underlying the good performance of Peruvian avocados on the international market. Industry insiders noted that Peruvian avocados are predominantly sold through previously agreed contracts instead of the spot market, meaning that prices tend not to follow the latest market trends.

As an emerging supplier, Kenya is estimated to have exported 110,000 metric tons of avocados in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 15%. Official data indicate that the harvested area of avocados in the country nearly tripled between 2015 and 2021 to 25,918 hectares.

Exports of Chilean avocados are estimated to have grown by over 50% to 150,000 metric tons in 2022. Meanwhile, South Africa is expected to have exported 63,000 metric tons of the fruit, up by 20%.

From a global perspective, avocado imports are estimated to have totaled 2.3 million metric tons in 2022, a decrease of 6%. The United States and European Union are expected to have accounted for 45% and 25% of global avocado imports in 2022, respectively.

Image: Unsplash

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

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