As the California avocado shipping season is virtually over, imports from Mexico, which have been lighter than usual, will increase significantly in the months ahead.
Mexico shipped about 2 billion pounds of avocados to the U.S. during its 2018-19 season, up from about 1.9 billion pounds for the 2017-18 season.
However, Mexican avocado imports crashed last summer. For example, during the last week of June, Mexico shipped only about 8.6 million pounds to the U.S., off from about 30 million pounds in 2018.
Volume from Mexico should gradually start to build in October and November, as the main crop begins harvesting, with January through August being the heart of the season.
Peruvian avocado exporters also had an off year, but still managed to ship more avocados to the U.S. than last year to help fill the gap caused by short crops in California and Mexico.
The Peruvian Avocado Commission reports Peruvian growers will ship an estimated 189 million pounds of avocados to the U.S. this season compared to 180 million last season.
The Chilean Avocado Importers Association reports Chilean avocado growers are expected to export about 65 million pounds of avocados to the U.S. during the 2019-20 season, which is similar to volume exported during the past two seasons.
California avocado shipments should total 190 million to 200 million pounds of avocados by the time their season ends this month, compared to just over 360 million pounds last year, according to the California Avocado Commission.
Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, Calif., expected to finish its California crop by the end of August, said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing.
Brooks Tropicals Inc. of Homestead, FL notes Florida is expected to ship about 800,000 bushels of green-skin avocados this season, which began in May and can continue as late as April. The company accounts for about 40 percent of Florida’s avocado volume.
American avocado observers point to optimism about the coming year, with some industry experts predicting overall avocado volume in the U.S. from all sources could reach 3 billion pounds.