Large avocado crop on way from Mexico - The Packer

Large avocado crop on way from Mexico

11/02/2012 02:22:00 PM
Tom Burfield

As a result, he said, there’s a big push to “keep demand strong, keep retail prices aggressive and keep promotions happening.”

“Everybody knows that retail promotions are going to be needed to move the crop that’s available for the next six or seven months,” he said.

On Oct. 29, f.o.b. prices for two-layer flats of all sizes of hass avocados from Mexico were $19.25-20.25, except for size 60s, which were going for $18.25-1925 and 84s, which were going for $17.25-18.25, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A year ago, prices ranged from $18.25 for 84s to $33.25 for 32s.

Demand for avocados is consistently growing, said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board.

“As long as demand and supply grow at a similar pace, you should see pretty stable prices,” he said.

Quality of the fruit will further strengthen demand, he added.

“The demand is growing,” Wedin said, but it’s necessary to have good-quality, fresh avocados while maintaining good inventory control and harvesting control to capitalize on that demand.

New export area?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a request by Mexico to export avocados from different growing regions to the U.S.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is reviewing a Pest Risk Analysis, pest list and comments from SAGARPA, Mexico’s department of agriculture, said Tanya Espinosa, an APHIS spokeswoman.

If APHIS approves the request, hass avocados from other Mexican states could be exported to the U.S., Espinosa said.

Since Mexican avocados were allowed into the U.S. in 1997, after an eight-decade ban, Michoacan is the only Mexican state approved for export to the U.S.

A record 782 million pounds of avocados from Michoacan were shipped to the U.S. in 2011-12, up from 620 million pounds the season before.

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