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Lower production and increasing demand in Europe

Spain: Malaga's avocado production expected to drop by 20%

The agricultural organisation Asaja expects a significant drop in the production of avocados and mangoes from Malaga, Spain's main producing area, while demand for these products continues increasing in Europe.

This increase in European demand makes it necessary to increase the yield per plantation so that Malaga's growers can stay amongst the top exporters, as explained in a statement by Benjamín Faulí, Fruit and Vegetables technician at Asaja. Competitors such as Chile or Israel produce up to 12,000 kilos per hectare.

The 2012/2013 campaign finished with an avocado production of 40,775 tonnes in Spain, from which 30,000 tonnes corresponded to the Hass variety, while the rest were green skin avocados (Fuerte and Bacon).

Prospects for the coming campaign are irregular, although all of them point to a moderate drop in production volumes of between 10 to 20%, which in some case could surpass 30% due to agronomic issues, according to Asaja.

Furthermore, it is also worth noting that fruit sizes last season were smaller than usual, and given that no problems with calibres are expected this year, "some of the losses in the number of fruits could be compensated with their greater weight," he pointed out.

According to Asaja, the total volume of Spanish avocados could reach 32,000 tonnes for the coming campaign, although this figure could still change depending on the fruit's development, especially in the case of the Hass, which is the most common variety and whose harvest begins in December and finishes in April-May.

Meanwhile, Chile expects a production of around 200,000 tonnes, from which approximately half will be exported (a 32% increase) and around 60,000 tonnes will be shipped to Europe. Israel will export around 50,000 tonnes to Europe, which is a 15% increase compared to last year's campaign, and Morocco will presumably recover some of last season's losses, with an expected production of around 8,500 tonnes.

The agreement signed between the EU and Morocco establishes the liberalisation of Morocco's avocado exports to the EU, although import tariffs greater than 44%.

Asaja has also confirmed that there will be a drop in Malaga's mango production of around 50 to 60% compared to last year's campaign, down to around 10,000 tonnes.

Source: Laopiniondemalaga

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