Supplies of Mexican organic avocados are coming in regularly right now.
“There are a lot of avocados out there and the quality of fruit is outstanding,” says Andy Martin of A & A Organic Farms Corp., a Watsonville, Ca.-based marketer of organic produce, who notes that A & A works with a family grower out of Michoacán, Mexico. “I think the season is just a normal season.”
This crop, which began in September, goes until June/July when supplies taper off. “And then we go through that rejuvenation period where you get the “loca” fruit which is the off-season crazy bloom they get,” says Martin. “That will go for 60 days and then the regular Hass avocados come back in August-September.”
At the same time, demand is solid for organic avocados. “We’re moving about two or so loads a week and we don’t have any trouble selling them,” says Martin. “It helps to have good quality but in general the avocados are a high-volume item.”
That said, with the combination last week of the run up to the Super Bowl and the Polar Vortex that claimed large portions of North America, it made for an odd week. “It seemed like there were more avocados because everyone had a commitment for Super Bowl and there were no open market sales,” he says. “And with 80 percent of the nation below freezing, that really locked up everything from apples to zucchinis. There were no trucks rolling. For us, it’s a sign of how slow it is when I get 15 calls a day from truck brokers that are asking for loads.”
All combined, this is making pricing for within the $30/box range. “Two years ago, these things were $80/box which wasn’t normal. But pricing now is a bit on the low side compared with what I’ve seen,” says Martin, who adds that pricing has remained relatively steady for the past few weeks.
Looking ahead, with those steady supplies continuing to arrive, the market may just have to get past the “Super Bowl Hangover.” “It’s where everybody orders and they don’t sell and all the stores are jammed up with inventory that they need to sell off before they can buy more,” says Martin. “The market might lean downwards a little bit after the Super Bowl and then I would hope it would level off within a couple of weeks.”