Avocado demand, prices soar

03/20/2013 12:08:00 PM
Mike Hornick

“As we get more into summer we’ll have to have weeks when we’re up to 15 million or 20 million pounds.”

Winter prices were lower than the industry anticipated, Wedin said, but that fed demand.

“Demand has really come forward,” he said. “That’s increased the need for product and when growers pick slightly less in both California and Mexico, it drives prices up quickly.”

Two-layer cartons of hass avocados from California shipped for $31.25-32.25 on size 48s and $30.25 on 60s March 18, according to the USDA. Year-ago prices were about $32 and $30, respectively.

Quality is good on Mexico and California fruit, Lucy said.

“California will dominate the West and Mexico the rest of the country for the next two and a half months,” he said March 18.

“The big problem has been lack of rain in California,” he said. “Rain really helps it size up. We’re hoping for a few more storms in April and May.”

Easter added to demand for avocados, Lucy said, but the fruit doesn’t get quite the same bump from that holiday as strawberries. The next big one will be Cinco de Mayo.

Unlike last year, Chilean imports ended well before mid-March. Chile sharply cut exports to the U.S. after the Association of Michoacan State Avocado Producers and Packers (APEAM) estimated the 2012-2013 crop at 986 million pounds, up from 782 million the year before.


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James Pot    
Canada  |  March, 21, 2013 at 01:19 PM

Expect a steady increase in demand over the next few years with paleo oriented diets slowly becoming mainstay with an increasingly larger demographic

Lillian    
R.B. CA  |  March, 21, 2013 at 02:05 PM

Gratefully for me, I have an Avocado tree in my backyard! And mine are ginormous! At least twice the size of those little golf balls you find in the market. :-)

Sandy Robinson    
Redland, Florida 33031  |  March, 22, 2013 at 08:33 PM

48s & 60s gimme a break---no comparison to Florida's 12 to 14s in single layer flat & 15 lbs weigh out. plus less closterol and more meat for the diet. Say no more until you bite into a Simmons, Nesbit, Choquette, & Monroe Avocado from South Florida & Redland Raised, Contact growers at Tropical Fruit Growers of So Fl

Randy Sobinson    
California  |  March, 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Florida Avocados do not compare to Hass. There are definitely people that prefer the flavor because of a tendency to side with local produce or even because that is what they grew up eating but to retailers...the Hass is a superior piece of fruit. period. The fruit is much easier to handle, has exceptional shelf life and is familiar to consumers because of the hundreds of millions in ad dollars spent on it. The florida avocado is a niche fruit that has no potential for growth. Enjoy your fruit at Tropical Growers. They will have plenty when it is in season because nobody outside of a 100 mile radius will want any of it.

Arnaldo Chibbaro    
Quillota CHILE  |  March, 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Wait for chilean avocados up September! I hope mines will be the best! And organic!

Chuck    
Huntington Beach CA  |  August, 24, 2013 at 07:21 PM

I remember when Avacados were cheap...3 or 4 to the dollar. Then there was a bad production year, prices skyrocketed and never came down. No doubt there has ben price fixing amongst the growers... It needs to be investigated.

    
October, 31, 2013 at 09:26 AM

Look between California and Florida the only difference is the fat ! While hass is about 10 grams per cup the florida a are about 6 grams per cup! But it all depe day on your taste! I have 750 floridA trees with five varieties and each is different ! Look women trying to cut back on calories should try a Florida avocado! Also with the hass the get brown and that's when there fully ripe, to me that's a rotten avocado. I like Florida cause u tastes the flavored not the fat

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