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More Peruvian avocados despite El Nino

Peru's coastal areas were plagued by floods at the beginning of the year, due to El Nino. This weather phenomenon also delayed the country's avocado harvest. An increased areal, which keeps expanding, ensured a growth in this product's volume. This meant that there was a normal production peak between April and June. This is according to a recent report from the USDA.

According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture in Peru, the volume increase estimates, before the coast was hit by El Nino, were at 30%, compared to 2016. Roads and irrigation systems were especially hard hit. It's impact, apart from the delayed avocado harvest, was minimal.

Peru grows 23 279 hectare of avocado with an average yield 12 to 15 ton per hectare. The largest production areas are in the La Libertad and Lima regions, with more than 40% of the production. Two varieties, Hass and Fuerte are grown. Each has its own market. Almost the whole Hass harvest (95%) is destined for the export market. Fuertes are primarily for the domestic market.

The domestic market is good for 170, 000 tonnes of avocados per year. Annually, Peruvians consume, on average, 5 kg avocados per person. These consumers have a preference for green-skinned avocados, like the Fuerte and Palta. They are trying to increase the popularity of the Hass avocado. Most of the Hass variety is, however, exported. The export figures between January and April are 44 018 tonnes, more than in the same period last year. Turnover increased by 12% for that period. This significant increase, despite the volumes not being much higher, is as a result of a small harvest in Mexico.



The Netherlands has, over the last five years, emerged as the most important destination for Peruvian avocados. The Netherlands, however, functions as a hub for the avocados. Four out of five avocados imported by the Netherlands are sent to the European inland. The United States is also in the top 5. Since 2014, avocado consumption by Americans has increased by 16%. This country imported a total of 450 163 tonnes last year. The market is mainly supplied by Mexico, but Peru is jumping in as the Mexican supply declines.

As the global demand increases, China and Turkey are also entering the market. Asia offers good opportunities for the Peruvian product. Although the volumes are still relatively small, export to these markets is growing exponentially.

Publication date: 8/11/2017


 


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