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Normal seasonal volumes now being harvested

Prices normalizing for Hass avocado

There’s been constant buzz recently over the Hass avocado shortage but it looks as if things are calming down with better pricing and more availability. Current supply volumes have increased in the past two weeks. “The pipeline is filling,” said Robb Bertels of Mission Produce. “It’ll take a few more weeks for supply and demand to balance out, but we’re optimistic that we’ve moved past the short supply situation.” Produce imported into the USA is coming mostly from Mexico right now; Bertels says Chile has found a window in the US market in the past few weeks.

Prices were extremely high recently, skyrocketing upwards of near $100 per box but there’s still demand from retailers. Bertels says it depends on the retailer. “In many cases the price was over $70 per case, but there weren’t many avocados available,” he said. “If the consumer demand is there, and there is tolerance for abnormally high prices, many retailers will stay in the market. The growth in demand for avocados has made them very important to retailers so many are reluctant to go without since they’ve become a staple in the US market.”

Customers don’t seem to be put off by the higher prices they’re seeing at their retail stores. Overall consumer demand has remained firm. “We believe that the availability decline and the corresponding price spike was short enough that many retailers have been able to adjust pricing to stay in the market,” he said. “Avocado pricing is adjusting downward again, and we’re hopeful that consumer demand will continue to be strong as prices normalize.”

High pricing is not healthy for the market and Bertels says anything that tempers consumer demand and slows momentum is counterproductive. A turn for the better, he says the industry began harvesting normal seasonal volumes in the past two weeks, and it’s expected that pricing will reflect that. “Overall we feel the major uptick in prices was temporary, and the market is adjusting to increasing volumes.”

Consistent supply has been the biggest challenge for the fruit. Avocado consumption is growing quickly all over the world. “Finding enough fruit to consistently supply the demand will continue to be a challenge. In addition to Mexico and California, Mission Produce is heavily involved in production in Peru and Chile. We feel that having multiple sources of supply available for our global customer base is crucial as we see consumption continuing to grow globally.”

For more information:
Robb Bertels, Vice President of Marketing
Mission Produce, Inc. 
Tel: 805.288.8165

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