During the northern hemisphere summer, Peru is the largest shipper of avocados in South America, with the Chilean season still more than a month away. Colombia is also shipping avocados in small volumes, mainly supplying the domestic and European markets. Volume out of Peru is expected to tally lower than last year, which was one of the highest on record.
"Currently the main avocado growing region in South America is Peru," said Keith Barnard of Mission Produce. "Volume out of Peru has been growing rapidly in recent years but expectations are for there to be less volume this year - going down from 351,000 tons last year to 305,000 expected tons. Of this, 27-30 percent will be exported to the United States, 57-55 percent to Europe, 9 percent to Asia, and the rest for Canada/South America which is 6-7 percent."
It is reported that this drop in volume from the 2018 season is mainly due to last year being a record year, and the fact that avocados can be alternate-bearing. Harvesting and packing in Peru is expected to continue through until late September (Week 39) or early October.
More volume in the early part of the season
One of the major developments of the Peruvian avocado deal in recent years is the extension of its season. Acreage is opening up further north than existing orchards and producers are investing in new technology, as evidenced by the opening of a new packing plant in May. What it means for Peru is that the season can open earlier, taking advantage of the unique window it has in global avocado production.
"This year it was Olmos' first large production which started the Peru season about a month earlier," Barnard said, referring to one of the new producing regions in the north of the country. He added that the market has shown positive signs despite the drop in overall production. "Although production is down this year, on the flipside you can compare price differences from last year’s European and US markets to the current year and note the many positive aspects."
For more information:
Julianna St. Geme
Ph: +1 (805) 981-3655