New plantings in Peru over the past few years mean a young crop, with large fruit and increasing volumes.
Rankin McDaniel, president of McDaniel Fruit Co., Fallbrook, Calif., said the volume in Peru has grown, along with the volume exported to the U.S.
This year, he expects to increase volume even more because of a shortage of larger fruit in the market.
Peruvian avocados tend to be larger for several reasons, one of which is favorable growing conditions.
However, younger orchards may also be having an effect.
“There are a lot of people that feel younger trees produce bigger fruit early on in the season, McDaniel said.
Others say they think larger fruit tends to come from new plantings.
“The environment is a reason, but also, trees that are younger and smaller tend to yield bigger fruit,” said Bruce Dowhan, vice president and general manager of Giumarra Agricom and Giumarra Borquez.
Dowhan said Peru tends to peak at sizes 36, 40 and 48.
“Those tend to be the peak sizes out of Peru, and we have a shortage of those larger sizes on the West Coast right now,” he said.
Peru’s orchards are young because extensive planting has been done over the past few years.
“There has been a lot of planting that has gone on over the last five to seven years, and those plantings are now coming into production,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel is hopeful the larger fruit will fill a void in the market.
“I think the larger-sized Peru fruit will find a market,” he said, as long as it doesn’t create a glut.
“A certain amount of larger sizes will be good for the market, but if you get too much during a short period of time, the market isn’t accustomed to absorbing that, so it can be a challenge,” he said.
McDaniel said he expects the planting to level off now that Peruvian fruit is hitting the market.