Posts Tagged “California avocado shipments”
Murrieta, CA – With California avocado season officially underway, West Pak Avocado, a California-based avocado supplier, saw record volume in February.
“Between a later big game this year and the week-long hiccup in supply from Mexico, California fruit saw a record 10.2 percent market share in February,” said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Doug Meyer. “At this point, over 10 percent of the California fruit for the season has been harvested, which is typically only a few percent by the end of February.”
Early preseason forecasts by the California Avocado Commission (CAC) project a 15 percent increase in volume over 2021 with a 306-million-pound crop in 2022, with the Hass variety making up the majority of the harvest. Most of the California avocado season volume is expected to occur from mid-April through mid-July, with the season winding down during the months of August, September, and October.
West Pak is looking to have a good variety of sizes by mid to late April, which is when the company typically sees the first major uptick in harvest volume of locally-grown avocados in preparation for Cinco de Mayo (May5th).
For 2021, the Hass Avocado Board lists the volume of California avocados at nearly 251.6 million pounds, which is just under 9 percent of the almost 3 billion pounds total incoming volume of avocados arriving in the U.S. market from all suppliers.
California has nearly 3,000 commercial avocado growers and according to Rabo Research, per capita consumption of avocados in the U.S. currently stands at 9 pounds but could surpass 11 pounds by 2026.
West Pak Avocado is a family owned and operated company that has been growing, packing, shipping, and distributing premium avocados for nearly 40 years.
The 2022 pre-season forecast by the California Avocado Commission of Irvine, CA projects a 306-million-pound crop, which is nearly a 15% increase over the last fiscal year.
About 80% of the California avocado season volume is expected to occur from April through August, with the season winding down starting in September. The Commission’s fiscal year runs from November 2021 through October 2022.
Market conditions will be a key factor for when California avocado growers begin harvesting; although some growers have already begun to pick. Volume is expected to ramp up in earnest around March.
California avocado growers received welcomed rains in December and January. This moved the region from severe drought to moderate drought conditions, and rain usually has a positive impact on tree health and avocado sizing.
The majority of the harvest will be the Hass variety; Lamb Hass, GEM and other varieties also are being commercially grown.
California has about 3,000 growers in the Golden State. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.
California avocado loadings will be 8 percent less for the 2020-21 season and stand at 292 million pounds, compared to a pre-season crop estimate by the California Avocado Commission. This still would be considered an average size crop.
Fall and winter weather events including heavy winds resulted in the slight forecast change, with the reduction occurring in the pre-season months.
The California avocado peak shipping season starts in late April and continues through August, with available volume before and after the peak period.
While total avocado volume is small compared to Mexico, California avocado shipments for 2020 is expected to reach nearly 400 million pounds — nearly an 85 percent increase over last year.
Loadings are expected to continue into September with limited volume extending into October.
This year’s crop has benefited both from naturally being a larger crop in the alternate-bearing cycle and excellent growing conditions.
This year’s crop has benefited both from naturally being a larger crop in the alternate-bearing cycle and excellent growing conditions.
Henry Avocado Corp. of Escondido, CA has finished its avocado program in the southern part of California, but will continue to ship from the north, in August through October.
Shipments will take place in Ventura County, transition to the Santa Barbara/Goleta area and then move northeast into the Santa Maria area and as far as Morro Bay and the San Luis Obispo.
The company points out it takes longer to grow in the northern area, so they have fruit available later in the summer and into the early fall, depending on the size of the crop.
Eco Farms of Temecula, CA, report loadings to retail supermarkets made up for the company’s drop in foodservice business that resulted from restaurant closures prompted by the corona virus pandemic.
California’s avocado season actually peaks in May and June, before the official start of summer. Peak weeks for California this year were the last week of April and the first week of May. May was the biggest month for California avocado shipments.
The market needed avocados at that time because Peruvian imports were late arriving in the U.S.
Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. of Fallbrook, CA expects Del Rey to finish its California shipments in mid-October, about a month later than most other shippers.
California avocado shipments are far outpacing last season, primarily because of heavy demand from retailers in early and mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the California Avocado Commission reports loadings have now slowed down in line with retail demand.
Despite retail orders being offset somewhat by the huge drop in foodservice demand, California avocado growers harvested nearly 46.7 million pounds this season through March 22.
This compares to only 5.1 million pounds for the same time last year. Some of this increase is due to a larger crop in 2020, but much is due to strong early-season demand. There has been a lot consumers stocking up and panic-buying, especially with the start of the pandemic, but there have been some expectations of softer retail traffic going into April. This has resulted in many growers to temporarily slow down on harvesting.
Unlike some produce items, mature avocados can remain safely on their trees, providing some harvesting flexibility.
California avocado shipments should experience a huge rebound this year with 369 million pounds forecast. This is about a 70 percent increase over 2019.
Still, California is a small player compared to the volume out of Mexico. While some California avocados are shipped to the East Coast, the vast amount goes to markets in the Western states. Last year, with a small crop, most destinations were to markets in California.
The California Avocado Commission of Irvine reports early-season volume has slightly exceeded projections. Peak loadings should occur from April through July and continue through Labor Day.
Some growers started harvesting in mid January due to strong markets and their big crops, with others starting in February.
Index Fresh Inc. of Riverside, CA plans to have good volume into September.
Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA also had an early start. Two years ago the company was hit harder than most by fires in groves as well as a heat wave.
Another reason California growers have started shipping sooner was due less volume this year from Mexico.
Mission Produce Inc. of Oxnard, CA started a month earlier this season than originally planned.
Eco Farms of Temecula, CA got off to a slow start in January, but loadings picked up in February.
Henry Avocado Corp. of Escondido, CA was shipping light volume in February, but shipments picked up in March, and the company will be full capacity from April to July, before starting to taper off in August.
The company has some spring and summer fruit going to customers in the East, but most of its fruit stays on the West Coast.
The Giumarra Cos. of Los Angeles has two California packinghouses, one in Escondido and one in Ventura and is shipping from both facilities.
Southern California avocados and citrus – grossing about $6400 to New York City.
California avocado shipments should hit 369 million pounds, a 70 percent increase over last season.
Unlike a year ago when shipments were limited primarily to the Western states, much wider distribution is possible, according to the California Avocado Commission.
The forecast for the big increase in shipments is attributed increased rains resulting in improved health of the trees and a better fruit set.
California avocado shipments remain relatively light, but will be increasing through March, with peak volume continuing from April through the summer, with smaller supplies lasting into September.
Despite a much larger crop, California avocado shipments will be going mainly to markets in California and the Western states. California avocado volume pales in comparison to shipments from Mexico, which is the primary supplier to two thirds of the U.S.
U.S. imports had significant increases in Hass avocados from all Latin American origins through September this year, the USDA reports.
Total imports from the region rose by 20 percent over last year during a nine-month period.
The growth came amid the lowest California avocado shipments in a decade, which created a supply gap for overseas producers.
A lot of the increase was due to Mexico with its rising avocado volume.
But there were also substantial increases in percentage terms from Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.
U.S. imports from Peru – the next biggest origin – rose by 24 percent, which is more than triple the amount imported from Peru in 2016, and also comes amid a 15 percent reduction in total Peruvian exports this season.
Chilean exports to the U.S. rose by 61 percent in 2019 through September. This increase came despite the Chilean avocado indsutry also forecasting lower total supplies from a year ago for the 2019-20 season.
Meanwhile, the U.S. imported five-times more Hass avocados from the Dominican Republic.
And U.S. imports from Colombia rose eight-fold from in August 2017 under a restrictive export protocol. This was eased a little earlier last year and an significant increase in avocado shipments to the U.S. is seen over the next few years.
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.
LGS Specialty Sales of New Rochelle, N.Y., is importing more Spanish fruit including lemons, clementines and Vanilla Persimmons, also known as rojo brillante.
LGS also imports and distributes citrus, grapes and avocados. The Spanish fruit is grown in the Valencia and Murcia regions. The company imports lemons from Spain year-round.
“Spain’s Mediterranean climate consistently grows exceptional fruit and we are excited to export more of their products to provide the U.S. market with top-quality produce year-round,” Rebekah McMurrain, persimmons category manager at LGS, said in a news release. “Both Spanish lemons and ready-to-eat Vanilla Persimmons are favorite varieties in Europe and we are pleased to offer them to U.S shoppers.”
The Vanilla Persimmon, a hybrid of the hachiya and fuyu varieties, is available now through February, according to the release. Like the fuyu, it is ready to eat.
California avocado shipments for the 2018-19 season are expected to plunge by nearly 50 percent compared to the 2017-18 season.
The California Avocado Commission 2018-19 preseason crop estimate for all varieties is 175 million pounds, with 167 million pounds of the hass variety.
The lower volume is due to various weather factors including a severe heat wave in July 2018.
Because of the expected drop in shipments, most avocado loads will be destined to California and other western markets.
Shipments will be building into March with peak availability from April through August.