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Avocado: Mixed quality avocado from Southern Hemisphere

Although, avocado shipments from South Africa and Peru to Europe are reporting good prices, importers in the old continent have conflicting views about the quality of the fruit.

One of the largest avocado importers in the UK told a Chilean newspaper that the Peruvian supply at the start of this month did not reach the required percentage of dry matter to mature properly.

Ian Daniels, of Greencell said that the level of dry matter was 21%, when it should have at least reached 23%.

Retail prices for Hass in Europe, from mid-March to mid-April reached USD 17 to USD 18.5 per box of 4 kilos. Price that has dropped to USD 12-13 as supply volumes have increased.

However, others have been quite happy with the quality of the fruit that they have received from Peru, as in the case of the Dutch company Nature's Pride B.V.

Theo Benjert, import manager of the company said that so far they have received three containers, where quality of the fruit has been pretty good.

"Generally we do not have many problems with fruit coming from Peru," he said.

Most of Benjert´s company sales are to retails in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway. By July, they expected an increase in the marketing of this fruit in supermarkets in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Meanwhile the AZ France manager of avocados and fruits said that April was transformed into a transition period in Europe, with Israeli and Chilean fruit going out of the market, to make way for shipments from Kenya, Peru and South Africa.

"The quality of South Africa and Peru is generally good. We tend to have more problems with Kenya due to weather conditions," he said.

It is expected for wholesale prices to continue to fall in Europe within the next three weeks. Despite this the fruit has higher prices this season due to the positive perception that consumers have about the fruit.

The South African and the Peruvian supply will start to increase as of May and lasts until late September, according to portalfruticola.com

Publication date: 5/3/2012


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