Supplies of organic avocados from Mexico look strong.
“We are in a position right now to carry us through to the Superbowl,” says Maria Elena Alvarez of A&A Organic Farms out of Watsonville, Ca. “We have good volume on the strong sizes--48s and 60s. We should be in a good position to push those 48s and 60s.”
The avocados, which are coming in from Michoacán, Mexico, started the season on time in September. “We’ve been going strong since then. Sometimes the market can be volatile—everyone sends them at once and then we get bombarded with a lot of product and work on a lower price. And then we run out of product and go up on price.” That said, this year supplies seem to be coming in relatively evenly.
With California’s supplies of avocados winding down and Peruvian fruit also wrapping up, Mexico has the market largely to itself.
Strong demand continues
As for demand, it continues to be strong for the popular fruit. “Our organic program is increasing year by year. We’re doing much much more. Compared to last year, we have double our imports,” says Alvarez. “Also because of the lower prices, organic avocados are available to more customers. They used to be limited to a smaller group of people who could access that price level. But now prices have come down.”
Right now, organic 48s are in the range of $38-$43 while organic 60s are between $35-$40.
“There’s a big range of prices right now on the organic vs. conventional avocados,” says Alvarez. “We often see that conventional sales drives the entire avocado market and a lot of times, organic pricing needs to adjust to it. We cannot have such a big difference on price.”
Looking ahead, growers are coming into the prime time of the season. “Depending on how they want to proceed, we should be able to stay within these price ranges. They work for the consumer and they’re still good prices,” says Alvarez. “I think we’ll still see some promotional prices below that and some commitments maybe below that for the Superbowl. And the everyday market may also see a little lower fluctuation on it. But once it gets to a certain price, the Mexican growers are not happy with what’s happening and they stop bringing it in. We’ve seen that year after year.”