Posts Tagged “imported avocados”
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.
Columbian imported avocados are being introduced to the United States…Meanwhile, it is springtime in Chile and it’s that time of the year for arrivals of Chilean grapes and well as other fruits.
Last August the USDA approved hass avocados imports by the U.S. from Colombia. It won’t be heavy volume for sure but observers see slow, but steady increases in 2018. Colombian agriculture officials said in a news release that hass exports will start this month from a farm near Antioquia, a production area that has been approved for exports to the U.S.
Hass avocado exports from Colombia will increase by 20 percent to Europe and North America, according to the officials with the Colombian Agricultural and Livestock Institute. The USDA reports through November 2017, imports of Columbian avocados totaled 29,300 metric tons.
The Columbian institute works with 33 hass avocado production sites including buffer areas. After complying with plant health requirements put in place by USDA and Colombian officials, all those sites will be authorized to export to the U.S.
Chilean Fruit Imports
California grape shipments to U.S. markets are on their last leg. Quality has been variable in recent weeks although plenty of pretty sweet grapes have been loaded for this late in the season. As California finishes up it season, Chilean import grapes are already arriving by boat at U.S. ports, but at this point mostly at Philadelphia. As fruit volume increases from Chile, other ports such as those at Los Angeles will begin receiving product. It is early in the Chilean grape season and around 375 truckloads of the fruit are arriving weekly, but volume is increasing with the majority of the volume coming during the next couple of months. Chilean peaches and plums also are coming in by boat, but in very light volume that also is increasing.
(Photo was taken by Bill Martin in January 1992 on a trip to Chile. It was photographed at a grape packing plant in Northern Chile.)
Through September, about 1.6 billion pounds of avocados had shipped in the U.S. year-to-date, and 1.2 billion pounds of that came from Mexico. The reason so much more product comes from Mexico is it is the only country, primarily due to climate, that has the ability to ship the fruit year around.
The total from all sources compares to 1.2 billion pounds through September 2014, 14 percent less than this year