Posts Tagged “Mexican avocado imports”
Avocado inspections in Michoacan, Mexico has restarted and avocado exports to the U.S. have resumed, the USDA announced February 18.
The USDA, working closely with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico’s Regional Security Officer, Mexico’s national plant protection organization (SENASICA) and the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers Exporters of Mexico, or APHIS, has enacted additional measures that enhance safety for APHIS inspectors working in the field, following a threat made to an employee on February 11, according to the release.
“The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is of paramount importance,” the USDA said. “USDA is appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner.”
In 2021, the U.S. imported $3.0 billion avocados globally, with $2.8 billion coming from Mexico (92%). In terms of volume, the U.S. imported 1.2 million metric tons of avocados, with 1.1 million coming from Mexico (89%). For the last full calendar year (2020) of available data, Mexico reported exports of avocados of $3.2 billion, of which 79% went to the U.S.
In 2020 and 2021, approximately 80% of the avocados exported from Michoacán went to U.S. markets. The peak growing season for Mexican avocados is January through March, while the U.S production season for avocado fruit runs from April to September.
Mexico and the U.S. will continue working together to fortify the strong bilateral supply chains that promote economic growth and prosperity in both countries.
“We are grateful that both countries have come to a resolution so that the U.S. and Mexico can continue our positive trading relationship,” the IFPA said in the statement. “IFPA looks forward to continuing to work with businesses on both sides of the border and their respective governments to continue to monitor and address these issues, so consumers can continue to enjoy uninterrupted access to fresh produce.”
Over the weekend, the U.S. government suspended avocado imports from Mexico “…until further notice.”
The Associated Press reported Mexico has acknowledged the U.S. government has suspended all imports of Mexican avocados after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threat.
The decision, confirmed late Saturday, February 11, could have a major economic impact on the Mexican avocado industry. Mexico exports nearly $3 billion of avocados a year.
The U.S. government suspended all imports of Mexican avocados “until further notice” after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threatening message, Mexico’s Agriculture Department said in a statement, according to the AP report. The report named avocado exports and growers as the latest victims of the drug cartel turf battles in the western state of Michoacan, the only state in Mexico fully authorized to export to the U.S. market.
“U.S. health authorities … made the decision after one of their officials, who was carrying out inspections in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official cellphone,” the department wrote.
One Michoacan grower notes to reach a faster resolution of the suspension, adding more security for USDA officials may be necessary because of Mexico’s ongoing security issues.
According to AP, many avocado growers in Michoacan — where the Jalisco cartel is fighting turf wars against a collection of local gangs known as the United Cartels — say drug gangs threaten them or their family members with kidnapping or death unless they pay protection money, sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars per acre.
The U.S. Embassy, which said in a social media post that it’s “working with the Mexican government to guarantee security conditions that would allow [its] personnel in Michoacan to resume operations,” has also said that “facilitating the export of Mexican avocados to the U.S. and guaranteeing the safety of our agricultural inspection personnel go hand in hand,” the AP report said.
This is not the first time that USDA officials have been threatened with violence in Mexico, said AP, pointing to a direct threat to U.S. inspectors in the town of Ziracuaretiro in August 2019 and the killing of a Mexican employee of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Sept. 30, 2020.
Michoacan has been exporting avocados to the U.S. for about 25 years, and commercial shipments of Mexican fresh Hass avocados from the state have been imported since 1997, according to APHIS. Michoacan is the only state currently approved to send avocados to the U.S.
The vast majority of Mexican avocados were crossing the U.S. Border into the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Dominican Republic Avocados
Dominican Republic Desbry® Tropical Avocados are available in ample supply for immediate shipping, which are grown and distributed by WP Produce Corporation, headquartered in Miami, FL.
The company’s tropical avocados remain green when ripe, are about three times larger than the more familiar Hass variety, have a sturdy texture, and stay fresh longer after being cut (slower to oxidize and turn brown).
Dominican Republic avocados are well-known throughout the East Coast of the U.S., as well as the Caribbean and many parts of the world. They are gaining popularity throughout the U.S. as retailers expand the avocado category and shoppers and chefs learn about it.
The impending shortage of Mexican avocados is happening during peak season for W.P. Produce’s tropical avocados.
“We grow and pack Desbry® Tropical Avocados on our sustainable farms and facilities in Florida and the Dominican Republic, depending on the season, and ship throughout North America 365 days a year,” said Christopher Gonzalez, VP of Sales for WP Produce and nephew of founder Willy Pardo.”
Founded in 1984, WP Produce is a family-owned, multi-regional grower, packer and shipper of fresh, tropical fruits and roots. WP Produce has been a pioneer in the tropical avocado market since 1992 and is now the largest importer and distributor of Dominican Tropical Avocados worldwide. With farms and partnerships with growers in Florida and the Dominican Republic, WP Produce offers a wide variety of tropical produce and root vegetables under the premium Desbry® brand.
Mexican avocado imports by the U.S. are expected to experience higher volume this year than last.
Growers in Mexico will export 2.3 billion pound of avocados to the U.S. in 2020-21, up from just over 2 billion pounds during the 2019-20 season according to The Mexican Hass Avocados Importers Association.
Summer avocado shipments from California and Peru have given way to Mexican fruit, giving Mexico a 96 percent market share.
The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, British Columbia announced in October that it had acquired a 65 percent stake in Eco Farms of Temecula, CA, which has increased its year-round supplies of avocados.
The focus now is on Mexico, which is ramping up production and moving towards the peak of its 2020-21 season.
About half the business at Henry Avocado Corp. of Escondido, Calif., has been with restaurants and other institutions, which have cut back orders.
Overall shipments have been higher than last year because of lower prices and increased sales to retailers, but still nothing like they should have been due to the crash in foodservice business.
Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA will have about 20 percent more product from Mexico to sell from this year’s regular crop out of Mexico than last year.
Index Fresh Inc., Riverside, CA expects a crop 15 t 20 percent larger than any average crop since 2015.
Avocado imports from Mexico have been similar to a year ago, and shipments will continue to increase over the next several weeks.
Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. of Fallbrook, CA notes the country’s flora loca crop started in mid-July with a limited number of trucks coming into the U.S.
Volume had dropped to 600 truckloads — about 25 million pounds — per week for a few weeks, but movement increased to about 30 million pounds per week and nearing 40 million pounds by the end of September.
Volume from Mexico will gradually increase over the next few months with the aventajada crop and then the regular crop peaking in January.
Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA sees the estimate for Mexico’s summer crop being strong, with an estimated 20 percent more avocados than last year.
Volume of avocados from Mexico in August has been 50 percent greater than July’s volume.
In all, Mexico supplies 75 to 80 percent of the avocados shipped to the U.S.
About 2 billion pounds of avocados will be imported from Mexico this season — an increase of about 6 percent over last year.
Though Mexico ships avocados year-round, particularly heavy volume comes from October through May.
McDaniel Fruit Co of Fallbrook, CA expects good volumes and quality coming from Mexico this season.
Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA expects peak volume to occur from January to April. The company expects some reduction in volume by the end of March or mid-April.
At Del Rey Avocado, Inc. of Fallbrook, CA plans on plenty of Mexican avocado imports through May.
During the past three years, an average of 80 percent of the avocados consumed in the U.S. were imported from Mexico..
While shipments from Mexico normally decline some during the summer, Mexican avocado imports dominates avocado volume in the U.S. every month of the year.
Volume has increased nearly 100 percent since 2010,
Avocados from Mexico were first allowed into the U.S. in 1997, but only to a limited number of Northeastern and Midwestern states and only during the winter.
Gradually, the number of states increased, and by 2007, the fruit was allowed in nationwide on a year-round basis.
McDaniel Fruit Co. of Fallbrook, CA was one of first companies to import when the U.S. market was opened to Mexican avocados and has seen significant growth in volume over the past two decades.
Mexican avocado imports by U.S. importers will remain strong in 2018-19. A new report from the USDA notes Mexican hass avocado production is forecast at 1.9 million metric tons or more for marketing year 2018-19.
By way of comparison, production estimates for the 2017-18 season are about 2 million metric tons, according to industry estimates.
Mexico’s Michoacán region is the world leader in avocado production and accounts for 80 percent of total Mexican avocado volume.
Total area planted for Mexican avocados for 2017-18 is about 571,000 acres, up a little more than 5 percent from about 540,000 acres in 2016-17.
Mexico’s avocado exports for 2018-19 are forecast to be close to 1 million metric tons, according to the report. That is similar to 2017-18, according to the USDA report.
The USDA report said the U.S. is the top importer from Mexico, consuming between 74 and 79 percent of total Mexican exports. About 6 percent of exports are sent to Japan and 7 percent to Canada.
While Mexican hass exports to the U.S. have increased with year-round access to all 50 states, the USDA report said exports to Canada, Japan and Europe have also risen.
The USDA report said a price dispute between producers in Michoacán and packing companies caused growers to cease harvesting activities Oct. 29 for approximately two weeks.
The report said an agreement was reached to end the strike on November 14,th when the parties along with the Mexican government agreed to have public reports of market information including:
- Product exported;
- Product sent to domestic market;
- Volumes sold; and
Growers in Michoacán generally sell their fruit on the spot to a packer in terms of pesos per kilo.
“The intention is to have transparent commercial value information of the avocado trade,” the USDA report said. “Parties agreed that market prices will be adjusted according to the supply/demand principle.”
Mexican producers said the strike caused a deficit of 38,000 metric tons in the U.S. market, but that resumption of packing was expected to erase that shortage within a few weeks, according to the USDA report.
A look at the three leading apple shipping states; Mexican avocado imports; and the approval of imported mangoes from Vietnam.
U.S. Apple Shipments
Christmas apple shipments are always big in the U.S. and vast amount of loading are coming out of Washington’s Yakima and Wenachee Valleys. Washington state is shipping around 3500 truck load equivalents of apples a week! A distant second is the state of New York, which is moving about 250 trucks weekly, led by the Hudson Valley, although there are probably a half dozen production areas spread across the state. In Michigan, mostly from the western part of the state centered around Grand Rapids, about 225 truck loads of fruit is being shipped each week.
Washington apples – grossing about $8000 to New York City.
Hass avocado volume from Mexico is forecast at 1.8 million to 1.9 million metric tons, up from 1.7 million metric tons in 2016-17. Nearly 80 percent of all Mexican avocadoes are exported to the U.S., though shipments to Canada, Japan and European countries have risen in recent years.
Mexican exports of avocados should hit nearly 1 million metric tons (95 million 23-pound cartons) in 2017-18, up 15 percent from 873,963 metric tons (83.5 million cartons) in 2016-17. Mexican avocado plantings increased 7.3 percent in 2016-17 to 544,457 acres, and another increase is predicted for 2017-18.
The Mexican state of Michoacan is the world leader in avocado production and accounts for 80 percent of all the country’s avocado production.
Mexican produce crossing the South Texas border – grossing about $4700 to New York City.
Vietnam Mango Imports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam into the continental United States. After analyzing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that mangos from Vietnam can be safely imported.
The final rule was published in the Federal Register on November 29th, and will become effective 30 days after publication, or on December 29th.
As we plow right into the holiday shipping season, here’s a look at loading opportunities from South Texas and Mexico to the Red River Valley.
Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas fruit shipments began in early October with grapefruit, but volume has been increasing leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. A significant increase in loadings is expected after Thanksgiving and leveling off to more steady shipments through January.
South Texas orange shipment also got going in October and were in full swing with the arrival of November. However, Texas orange shipments only account for about 25 percent of the total citrus volume.
Mexican avocado Imports
Mexican Avocado Imports are Increasing through South Texas and big volumes are seen again through the winter months. During the 2016-17 shipping season, Mexican avocado shipments should hit about 2 billion pounds, similar to a year ago.
Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus, plus crossings from Mexico of tropical fruits and vegetables – grossing about $2600 to Chicago; $4100 to New York City.
Red River Valley Potato shipments
Red potato shipments from the Red River Valley, the nation’s largest red potato producer, will be down more than one-third from last year’s big crop, and 20 percent less than the five-year average. There were thousands of acreage lost to excessive rains ranging from Grand Forks, ND to the Canadian border.
It is estimated only 64,000 out of 80,000 planted potato acres in North Dakota will be harvested. One potato production forecast is at 19.8 million hundredweight (cwt.), down 28 percent from last year. However, another forecast believes an additional 4 million cwt. has been lost. Most of the acres lost were in northeast North Dakota on non-irrigated land. The state’s processing crop which yields much higher was largely unaffected by heavy rains.
Whichever estimate turns out to be more accurate, red potato volume from the Red River Valley will be far less than 2015-16 when 27.6 million cwt. of potatoes were shipped.
Red River Valley potatoes – grossing about $1700 to Chicago; $2600 to Dallas.