“The European market is complicated right now, with prices around 5 euros for a 4-kilo box,” Gomez said. That’s significantly lower than typical, a trend Gomez expects will continue.
“The U.S. is a better market right now,” he said.
Still, Gomez expects to ship about 50% of his crop to Europe, with the other half going to the U.S. This is up from an early estimate of just 15% of the Peruvian crop going to the U.S.
In the future
Suppliers are hopeful these favorable market conditions will continue in future years, but even if California and Mexico’s crops are back to normal next year, it should still be easier for Peruvian fruit to find a home in the U.S.
“I think everyone’s expectation for next year is that, at the very least, the quality of the fruit will be considered acceptable because when we started this season, that was in question,” Crawford said.
By the end of the season, he thinks Peru will have had a chance to prove its avocados are high quality, which will allow them to better compete with Mexican fruit.
“Next year, we may have to compete with Mexico, but Peru is typically a little more aggressively priced, so there’s a window the Peruvian fruit is starting to fit into,” Crawford said.
Wileman thinks the future will bring a larger number of Peruvian avocados to the U.S.
“There are new plantings going on, so I would think the volume will increase in years ahead,” he said.
However, nothing is certain.
“If the market gets active in Europe, some could go there,” Wileman said.