Yesterday the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, signed an agreement with the Chinese government to allow Kenyan Hass avocado exports to China. The process started last year in November, when the Chinese and Kenyan presidents met in Shanghai, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures to enable the export of more agricultural products to China. Though the agreement on the protocols, regarding plant health especially with respect to the rules of international trade were not signed. So even though the Memorandum was signed, no Kenyan avocados could enter China, because the right protocols were not set.
In order to set the protocols, a Chinese delegation visited Kenya at the end of March to inspect the orchards and see whether they could fulfill the requirements for export to China. Now, almost a month after their visit, the agreement is signed, and now Kenyan avocados can officially enter China. “We are very happy that our Kenyan avocados can now enter the Chinese market. We are still in season, so we are able to supply the Chinese market with our avocados this year until November. We are ready to take orders from China.” Said Mr. Chandru Akki from Cauvery Limited.
When talking with him about the current market conditions he mentioned: “After Easter the demand for Kenyan avocados in Europe dropped slightly. This mainly has to do with the arrivals from Peru and Chile during this time. Though I believe it will come back again, when the avocados from Chile and Peru are sold locally the demand for Kenyan avocados will rise again. In Dubai the market is totally different, there the demand is very high and also maintains a high price. Next week the Ramadan will start and avocado is a very popular product to consume during this time, because of its high nutrition value. So the demand in Dubai will stay high for a while.”
When Kenya starts exporting their avocados to China, this will also mean a change on international market, as Mr. Chandru Akki explains: “In Dubai there is a very high demand for Kenyan avocados, so when a part of this falls away because of the export to China, a shortage for avocados will arise and I predict that the demand will grow for Kenyan avocados and the price will become even higher. Though in Europe I am not sure how this will develop. When there is less Kenyan avocado available, there is a possibility that Israel will try to fill this gap. We have to wait and see how that develops over time. For now we are looking forward to exporting our avocados to China.”