U.S. avocado imports unfazed by Mexican fire

07/23/2012 04:29:00 PM
Tom Karst

The recent loss of a Michoacan avocado packinghouse won’t hurt supply of Mexican fruit sent to the U.S. market in coming weeks.

A fire on July 22 destroyed the packinghouse of Frutas Finas de Valles de Michoacan SA de CV, according to the website Terra.com.mx.

The packinghouse — not connected with Mission Produce — supplied U.S. buyers and some Asian countries, said Jim Donovan, vice president of business development for Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif.

“That packinghouse did a fair amount of business, but in the scope of things we really won’t notice,” he said.

Avocados from California, Mexico and Peru are available in the U.S. at this time of year.

For the week ending July 7, California accounted for 50% of U.S. avocado supply, Mexico 32% and Peru 13%, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Peru is a new supplier after being permitted access to the U.S. market last season. The presence of larger sizing on hass from Peru is being felt in the marketplace, Donovan said.

F.o.b.s were in the low $30 range a few weeks ago, but Donovan said the market for 40s and 48s was trading from $25-28 per carton, depending on the size and origin.

“I expect it to start strengthening up into the high $20s and maybe even up into the $30s again,” Donovan said.



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