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Underscoring growing Mexican commerce

Rapid growth in avocado exports to US

Farmers from the Michoacan region once just provided for local appetites but now produce 80 percent of all the avocados eaten north of the border. "We are always in season," says grower Ramon Paz, spokesman for the Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Avocados of Mexico, or APEAM. "And we are closer to Texas and the east of the United States than California and much closer than the South American countries. So our products always arrive fresher."

Avocado consumption in the U.S. this year builds on astronomical growth in avocado exports from Michoacan during the past two decades. In the 1997-98 season, when the producers here first began shipping north, 13 million pounds of avocados crossed the border. In the last full season, it hit a record of 1.8 billion pounds. This season the figure is estimated to be even higher. (Other Mexican states also produce avocados, but only those from Michoacan are certified by the USDA).

According to, such epic expansion has made the tasty green fruit become emblematic of commerce between Mexico and the United States. And it has helped the overall trade across the Rio Grande continue to grow, despite President Trump railing against too many Mexican imports.

In 2017, there was a record $557 billion worth of goods and services flowing between the United States and Mexico. Mexican exports also include cars, electrical machinery, furniture and other fruits and nuts. The U.S. trade deficit with Mexico hit a record $71 billion.

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