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Overall volume increase expected this season

Peruvian avocados to the US delayed early on

Avocado ranches in Peru are hoping to have an impact on the US domestic market; the program is just getting underway. Globally, Peru’s avocados are also distributed to Europe, Canada and Asia. The volume from Peru should continue to grow, with an expected increase of 30-40% over last season, according to Robb Bertels of Mission Produce. “With the amount of fruit that’s planned to come into the North American market it should be a great benefit for the summer months – the California crop is a lot smaller - about half the size it was last year. It creates a pretty good window for fruit from Peru.” Especially since Mexico’s volume is winding down. 



Higher prices; lower supply 
Prices are still high and demand exceeds supply. “It’s a reflection of the amount of fruit that’s available,” said Bertels. “With the smaller California crop and lessening volume from Mexico, the market can stay comfortable with over 50 million pounds of avocados a week. Lately however, Bertels says overall volume in the market from Mexico and California has been down to around 40 million pounds a week. “Demand has really exceeded supply in the last couple of months. We really don’t see that changing much until Mexico’s new crop gets going later in the summer. It feels as though prices will remain higher throughout the summer.” 



Fruit delayed slightly 
When Peru experienced heavy rains in March it pushed harvest back by a few weeks but things are looking better – Bertels was there two weeks ago and says the infrastructure is good; any concerns with roads and bridges have been repaired. “Fruit is moving from the packing houses to the ports. “Originally we expected to have early arrivals here by the middle of May, but it’s been pushed to the first week of June. Mission Produce will be able to contribute more volume from Peru now that their newer ranch in the northern part of the country is in its first year of commercial production. “We expect volumes to increase on other ranches as well as the trees have another year of maturity. Overall, there will be more and more volume coming out Peru in the future, and it should be a fixture in the market during the summer months.” 



Early shipment quality control is good 
An early shipment of fruit arrived into the US to check quality to make sure the fruit has performed well and ripened up. “Everything looks good now. We expect the first commercial arrival to the US next week. A couple of weeks ago the trees were loaded and we were picking and packing and the fruit looked really good.” Part of quality control also has to include taste testing, doesn’t it? Bertels joked that it was “avocado toast for all.” 

For more information: 
Robb Bertels 
Mission Produce 
Tel: 805.288.8165 

Publication date: 5/18/2017
Author: Rebecca D Dumais
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


 


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