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Mexico: Shortage of avocados in Jalisco as producers prioritize international market
Since producers are prioritizing supplying international markets, avocados in Jalisco have become scarce and expensive, and the little product that is marketed in the state is grown in other states such as Nayarit and Sinaloa.
According to the director of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Avocado from Jalisco (Apeajal), Ignacio Gomez Arregui, the months of March and April represent the downward curve in the production cycle of this fruit, and producers are exporting what little avocado they harvest to comply with export commitments.
"The avocado tree has its lowest production in March and April, so there is very little supply and the price increases. Additionally, in the last two years we've had some atypical climatic phenomena that has affected some production areas in Jalisco and Michoacan and that has led to a decrease in the production volume," the director of the Apeajal said.
He said that in 2016 Jalisco produced 120,000 tons of avocados, 63,000 tons of which were exported to 21 countries.
"35% of the 63,000 tons exported in 2016 were sent to Canada, 30% to various countries in Europe, such as Spain, Germany, England, France, Holland, and Belgium, among others, 25% to Japan, and the remaining 10%, to various Central and South American countries, Hong Kong, and the Middle East."
Traders from Guadalajara's wholesale market said that the exports were the main reason for the shortage of avocado and the current high prices.
"There is less and less avocado. We struggle to get more avocado but it's also expensive for us," said Diego Rivas, a trader at the region's main supply center.
In this market, avocado prices range between 40 and 50 pesos per kilogram. According to the director of Apeajal, prices will start to fall in the coming weeks, once production increases.
According to Ignacio Gomez, there are 1,400 avocado producers in Jalisco and the cultivation of this fruit went from 1,000 hectares in 2000 to 22,000 in 2016.
Michoacan is the country's leading producer of avocados, as it contributes 78.0% of the total production, while Jalisco ranks second with 7.3 percent.
Publication date: 4/21/2017
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