Spain expects to harvest between 45,000 and 50,000 tonnes
"Many markets prefer Fuerte avocados over the Ettinger"
The Spanish avocado campaign has been underway since the shipment of the first Bacon avocados from the Costa Tropical in Granada and La Axarquía in Malaga. Prices have remained high until the Ettinger avocados arrived from Israel, according to Óscar Ramírez, manager of Tropico Spain.
"In November, we usually see a peak in the export volume of Israeli fruit and this usually pushes prices down. We are now starting to market the first Fuerte avocados, also green-skinned, which will remain available until late January and which are preferred over the Ettinger in many markets, giving them an edge in terms of prices," he explains.
Spain expects a similar avocado harvest to last year's, according to Óscar Ramírez. It will oscillate between 45,000 and 50,000 tonnes, with similar quality and sizes.
At present, the European market mainly has Hass avocados from Chile, and to a lesser extent, from Mexico and Kenya. The first Hass of the Spanish season will arrive in mid-November, "the time of the year when prices tend to be higher."
"The Chilean Hass are reaching very high prices in Europe at this time, as the local and North American markets have been quite strong throughout the month of October. Chilean exporters ship around 30% of the fruit to Europe," he adds.
Tropico sells around 10 million kilos of avocados annually, 50% of which are produced domestically, mainly from October to April, while the other half are imported from other countries.
While avocado production is growing worldwide due to the huge demand, Malaga is still limited because of the lack of guarantees when it comes to the water supply, which restricts the acreage expansion. "Until this problem is solved, producers won't risk planting more avocados," says Óscar Ramírez. "Tests are being carried out in other producing areas of Spain, but it is still early to know if they are suitable for avocado cultivation, since in addition to water, temperatures need to remain high," he adds.
According to Óscar Ramírez, availability is relatively limited based on the demand. "If we had more avocados, we would sell them without problems," he says. "Europe is our market and for now we don't need to expand, since it already absorbs all our volumes. If we opened new markets, it would result in us failing to supply the markets we already have."
For more information:
TropiCo Spain (Exceltrop S.L.)
Publication date: 11/9/2017
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