Posts Tagged “avocado shipments”
IRVINE, Calif. – The California Avocado Commission estimate shipments of 257 million pounds of avocados, which is a slight decrease compared to the 2021-22 season crop volume of 276 million pounds.
“The recent California rainfall has been welcomed by our growers throughout all districts,” said Jeff Oberman, president of CAC. “Growers have related increased sizing and crucial replenishing of water sources, during my recent visits to all production regions. We do not yet know if there will be any change to the expected harvest timing, however excitement is building from our retail partners for the kick-off of the California season.”
Weather and market conditions will be key factors for when California avocado growers begin harvesting and some growers may delay picking to allow their avocados time to increase in size.
California avocado volume is expected to begin ramping up around March, with peak availability from April through July then tapering off through Labor Day.
Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to enhance the premium positioning of California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities. California has about 3,000 avocado growers.
The majority of California avocado shipments are to destinations west of the Rocky Mountains.
While the popularity of avocados in 2022 remain, prices have been sky high and volume has been a problem.
RaboResearch released a report on the avocado market estimating shipping-point prices will decline gradually Cinco de Mayo behind us. It is the second largest driver of avocado consumption in the U.S.
“Nevertheless, we estimate that from May to mid-summer, prices will remain higher on average than in 2020 and 2021,” writes lead author David Magana, fresh produce analyst with Rabo AgriFinance, the part of the global Rabobank Group that serves U.S. agricultural producers.
“Starting from late summer, prices are likely to decline below the prices observed in 2021 but remain higher than those of 2020.”
The report says the second half of 2022 should see increased volume from Mexico, both from the main supplying state of Michoacan, but also new exports from Jalisco. Volume from South America should also increase.
This summer, California is expected to harvest higher volume than last year. Shipments from Peru to the U.S. will also likely rise considering the disruptions in Europe with the conflicts.
The report gives historical perspective, showing how availability has risen in the U.S. from 1 billion pounds in 2005-06 to 3 billion in 2020-21, and per capita consumption has grown to more than 9 pounds, more than three times of that in Europe, which has changed the strategies of supplying nations.
Avocado shipments to U.S. markets have been anything but normal this season for a number of reasons. And the bottom line there have been fewer of them.
You may have noticed significantly higher retail prices for avocados and there are reasons why, even though there has been around 63 million pounds being shipping weekly in the U.S.
During the week of April 25, distributors were quoting $75 for a carton of 48-size avocados from Mexico FOB Laredo, TX, which is the crossing point for most of Mexico’s production.
During the week ending April 24, the 62.9 million pounds packed and shipped during the week was the second-largest week of the calendar year, only exceeded by the first week of March when 63.8 million pounds were moved. Looking at total volume for the year compared to 2021 shows through April in 2021, U.S. shipments of avocados topped 967 million pounds. This year, only a little more than 800 million pounds have made it to market in that time frame, a 17 percent drop in volume.
The market price for avocados has been very strong since January, but it received an unintended bump from the USDA in mid-February and has been steadily climbing ever since. During Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 12-13), shipments from Mexico were suspended because of a threat to a USDA inspector who was conducting inspections in a Michoacan packingshed. The week-long suspension impacted shipments for two weeks with Mexico only sending about 40 million pounds to the U.S. market during that period, which was only about 40 percent of what typically would have been shipped.
The high volume 63.8-million-pound week occurred after shipments were once again allowed, but the shortage created heavy demand and prices started rising. In March, it was mostly in the $50s for the largest size while in early April, the FOB was in the $60s. Easter week always results in a significant drop in supplies from Mexico as that heavily Catholic country observes several holy days with no work. During the week ending April 17, Mexico only sent 21.7 million pounds to the United States, its lowest week of the year except for the suspension week.
Projections on volume reveal the market may stay right where it is through May and possibly well into June. This is when Peru starts to move into volume shipments to the U.S. market. The Hass Avocado Board projects, U.S. weekly volume of 50-55 million pounds in each week of May.
In May, Mexico’s volume is expected to decline from about 40 million pounds the first week of the month to about a 30-million-pound pace by the end of the month. California’s volume is expected to increase from an average of less than 9 million pounds per week in April to 13 million pounds a week in May. The current projection calls for Peru’s volume to hit close to 5 million pounds per week at the end of May before ascending to double-digit weekly volumes in June and reaching for 18-19 million pounds on a weekly basis in mid- to late July.
Peruvian avocado exporters are predicting more than 230 million pounds will come to the U.S. market this season, mostly from mid-June through August, but continuing into October.
Del Rey Packing Co. of Fallbrook, CA, is anticipating Peru might get started earlier with volume shipments to the United States because of the very strong market.
For the four-week period ending February 21, the U.S. Northeast showed avocado shipments increased 27.4%, according to the Hass Avocado Board.
The Northeast region held a 14% share of total U.S. volume but drove 39% of total incremental units, according to the release.
The New York market led the growth in the Northeast, with unit sales reaching 12 million units, a 29% increase over the prior period.
Nationally, U.S. avocado volume grew 8.8% for the four-week period ending February 21, while dollars increased 0.7%.
The Hass Avocado Board also published a 2020 year-in-review.
The HAB reported:
- Total volume of avocado fruit sold in the U.S. rose by 6.1% in 2020, from 2.492 billion pounds in 2019 to 2.644 billion pounds in 2020;
- Bagged fruit saw a rise in popularity at retail. Bagged fruit in many weeks reached about 30% of retail sales, according to HAB; and
- There was some retail pricing deflation in 2020, the HAB said, with per fruit pricing coming off the average of $1.15/per fruit in 2019 to closer to $1 per fruit in 2020. The lower pricing was especially seen in the latter part of the year, according to the release.
- Mexican avocados, tropical fruits and vegetables from South Texas – grossing about $7000 to New York City.
As the 2020-21 Florida tropical avocado season winds down, Brooks Tropicals has been supplementing supplies of their original tropical avocado branded SlimCado™ with fresh fruit from the Dominican Republic.
“We had a pretty good year in terms of crop-size here in Florida”, says Peter Leifermann, VP of Sales and Marketing at Brooks, in a press release.
“Although we may not quite make our industry-wide goal of bushels, each variety produced a good crop and we were especially pleased with the late fall varieties.
We have a few more months of Florida fruit to harvest but it will be limited. Our partnerships in the Dominican Republic have allowed us to serve our customers for the entire calendar year.”
To continue to meet growing consumer demand for tropical avocado, Brooks Tropicals has partners in the Dominican Republic that grow and pack that country’s several varieties.
Almost 30 years ago, Brooks and Agroindustria Ocoena, S.A. (AIOSA) struck a relationship that began with an avocado packing line and continues today with the shared generations of agricultural knowledge between the firms.
Brooks Tropicals has been growing tropical avocado, fruits, and vegetables in the Caribbean and South Florida for nearly a hundred years and AIOSA began exporting in 1987. Brooks also has another decades-old partner in AMR-AGRO.
Similar to the Florida crop, the Dominican Republic has over 20 different varieties in production, but January begins the transition from a Lula and Semil dominant crop to the Carla variety.
Carla tropical avocado are characterized by their more round shape – as opposed to pear-like – and being a late season variety, it’s higher oil content.
“Tropical avocados are so near perfect, it’s like they take into consideration our diets!” Leifermann continues. “In the summer they are lighter in flavor, and as the cooler months come they have a richer flavor. The Carla – similar to our proprietary Florida winter varieties – is a delicious fruit that pleases even the most hardened hass-lovers.”
Brooks Tropicals will distribute Carla variety tropical avocado from January until the end of April.
Avocado shipments are expected to be strong with stable volumes over the coming weeks, with an increase in the run-up to the Super Bowl.
The Del Rey Avocado Company reports supplies have been steady over recent weeks, hitting around 50 million pounds per week into the U.S. market.
This pace is likely to continue as volumes are expected to pick up in the new year. A weekly increase in volume to match the demand for the Super Bowl is seen from the middle to the end of January. However, it remains to be seen whether the U.S. market will see volumes of up to 78 million pounds per week for two or three weeks as in previous years.
Mission Produce notes Mexico is producing good volumes through December and leading into the Super Bowl on February 7, the biggest avocado sales period of the year. Volumes over 50 million pounds through December and will continue to grow as we get closer to the Big Game.
A California heatwave in 2018 did a “number” on the California avocado crop, which is expecting its smallest volume in a decade. The heat hit some of the state’s key growing regions, and most shipments this season will be limited to the Western states. Meanwhile, there was significant increase in avocado imports last year.
Current estimates are for production of 175 million pounds (79,000 metric tons), which would be 48 percent lower than last year’s 338 million pounds (153,000MT), according to The California Avocado Committee.
There hasn’t been this small of a crop since the 2009 season, when 174.5 million pounds were produced. Between then and the previous season production has fluctuated greatly, ranging from a high of 534.5 million pounds in 2010 to a low of 216 million pounds in 2017.
Two other major players in the global avocado market during the same period – Peru and South Africa – are expected to have back-to-back seasonal declines in production.
There are areas that should have had much better production which were hit hard by heat that went well over 100 degrees, with some areas reaching 116 or 117 degrees for a short period of time.
Adding to the problem was cold temperatures in the prior months, along with wildfires the previous year.
The duration of the season is set to be shorter than last year, with peak avocado shipments occurring from late March through July, as opposed to last year when volume continued into September.
There was a 15 percent increase in U.S. imported avocado volume during 2018, while crop value plunged 11 percent.
Trade statistics from the USDA indicate the total value of U.S. avocado imports totaled $2.35 billion, down from $2.64 billion in 2017. By volume, U.S. imports of avocados reached 1.04 million metric tons, up 15 percent from 900,200 metric tons in 2017.
The USDA reported Mexico accounted for 87 percent of the total volume and 88 percent of the total value of U.S. avocado imports.
U.S. imports of Mexican avocado grew 17 percent by volume but shrunk 11 percent in value in 2018, according to the USDA.
Peru was the second leading avocado supplier to the U.S., accounting for 8 percent of the value and volume of U.S. imports.
Chile ranked as the third most important avocado supplier, representing 3 percent of both volume and value of U.S. imports.
A Mexican labor dispute that broke out in late October has had U.S. avocado importers anxious, but the issue was resolved November 14th.
What Mexican growers consider low prices for their avocados was at the core of the dispute. As a result growers had installed checkpoints on all major roads in the Michoacan growing region, preventing picking crews and field trucks from entering the groves, according to the Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacán (APEAM).
In the U.S., importers were becoming concerned as inventories were quickly declining. Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA was airing concerns of running of avocado supplies soon.
APEAM said its executives were working to resolve the issue through meetings and conversations with police agencies, the federal government and growers. The association expressed confidence these actions would soon lead to avocado shipments returning to normal.
Avocado prices began falling last August in anticipation of a bigger crop. In fact, by mid-October f.o.b. prices of a box of avocados were $12 lower than a year earlier.
Calavo estimated that the U.S. imported 1.9 million pounds of Mexican avocados from July 2017 through June 2018, and he that number was expected to be up to 2.1 million pounds for the current crop year.
McDaniel Fruit Co. of Fallbrook, CA was ware of Mexican grower disappointment in prices, but felt the lower prices were only temporary and the avocado market would rebound. Meanwhile, the quality of the Mexican avocado crop was looking very good.
Index Fresh Inc. of Riverside, CA was pointing out Mexico is expecting a slightly larger crop for the first time in five years.
Avocado supplies in the U.S. have been low due to the labor strife, although the average consumer probably didn’t notice it. Importers report it will be weeks before supplies return to normal, plus a lot of avocado supplies will not be ripe in time for Thanksgiving.
Some tropical fruit crops have been plagued by weather at the beginning of this year’s hurricane season in some growing regions, while the lasting effects of the 2017 hurricane season continues to be felt in Florida.
Despite these issues, adequate tropical fruit shipments should continue through the fall.
Entering the last several weeks of the Mexican mango shipping season, 64 million boxes had been shipped through July. A total of 83.6 million boxes is projected for the season, about 2 million more boxes than last year.
Kent and keitt are the two predominant varieties coming from the northern states of Mexico for the remainder of the season. This fall, the transition to off shore mangoes from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru occur with tommy atkins and ataulfo/honey mangoes from Brazil and Ecuador and kents from Peru.
The first shipments of Brazilian mangoes arrived in mid- to late August, followed by Ecuadoran fruit in the last half of September.
Florida avocado production is still seeing the fallout from Hurricane Irma about a year ago.
Unity Groves Corp., of Homestead, FL ships green-skin avocados, and is facing a rebuilding years resulting from the hurricane. Volume was slashed by 50 percent when normal shipments would be about 200,000 bushels. Still, avocado shipments by the company will continue through January.
Veracruz in Mexico’s prime growing region for limes, but production has been limited due to rains.
Amazon Produce Network reports there were some harvesting issues due to weather affecting crossings from Mexico into South Texas, but this has improved.
Unity Groves Corp has noted its Florida lime shipments will be about 50 percent less this year due to Hurricane Irma a year ago.
World Variety Produce of Los Angeles notes there should be normal shipments of other tropical fruits. Jackfruit got underway in the last half of September and will be available through the fall. Yellow Dragon from Ecuador is now in normal supply. Good volumes with white and red dragon fruit out of Vietnam is expected, while red flesh dragon fruits is typically more limited.
It remains to be see whether passion fruit shipments from California will be hurt by hot weather during the growing season.
Taiwan’s starfruit season was launched at the end of September.
Thomas Fresh of Calgary, Alberta sees high volumes of dragon fruit, pummelo, star fruit and cracked coconut.
HLB Specialties of Pompano Beach, FL handled its first Mexican organic formosa papayas in mid-September. Brazilian golden papaya imports improved in September. Additionally, imports of Guatemalan rambutan season will continue until mid-November, and Honduras got underway in early September with good production.
Yellow dragon fruit from Ecuador stared in early September.
California avocados are dropping from the trees because of triple digit temperatures that have been common since early July….Meanwhile, imported Chilean mandarin volume has have increased nearly five-fold during the past six years.
Some temperatures have hit 115 degrees F. For example, Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. of Fallbrook, CA reports avocado groves in San Diego County’s Pauma Valley and Temecula have suffered from the heat. As a result, fruit drop resulting from the heat is expected to cut avocado shipments and possibly increase the price of California avocados in late summer marketed in August, particularly after Labor Day.
The 2019 avocado season could also suffer from this year’s weather, particularly with potential tree damage.
In the southern growing regions of San Diego and Riverside counties, the harvest was about 85 percent finished when the early July heat hit groves. To date, California growers have harvested about 300 million pounds of fruit. Most of the remaining crop is in cooler areas, north and toward the coast.
California’s avocado shipments this season was originally estimated to be 350 million pounds, but some observers have lowered their estimate to 320 million or less.
Shipments of about 13 million pounds per week in early July faded to 10 million pounds by mid-July. California avocado shipments are now dropping sharply.
Imports of Peruvian avocados began arriving in peak volumes in early August and supplies from Mexico are also available.
The first shipments of Chilean mandarins arrived by boat at U.S. ports in late July with 64 tons on the East Coast and 21 tons for Canada.
Although this season got off to a slower start than last year, Chile expects to ship a record 101,000 tons of mandarins to North America this year, a 32 percent over last year. In 2012 Chile exported 22,000 tons of mandarins. Today, the Chilean mandarin industry has become the main supplier of easy peelers to North America.