At the end of November, the avocado market suddenly faced a sharp drop in prices. "No-one saw it coming. Over two weeks, prices for 4kg dropped from €18 to €7. We, therefore, really went under the bottom line," says Ruud Kester of the Dutch company, Produce IT. They cultivate avocados in Mexico and export them to the United States and Europe.
According to the grower, this poor market situation was a result of a culmination of circumstances. "There were a lot of strikes during the Chilean season. All the fruit came late onto the market, all at once. Those were then poorer quality products that had to be sold quickly. Peru offered avocados until the end of November. Kenya also kept sending more product too. The usual countries of origin also come on the market with more avocados every year. These countries include Mexico, Colombia, and Spain."
"We, of course, had a market that was high from the end of May until the beginning of October. At a certain point, that affects consumer's spending patterns considerably." According to Ruud, there is light at the end of the tunnel. "Demand is increasing, for smaller sizes too. Prices are also gradually climbing. The price for the small sizes is now again at around €18. I expect we will reach the €20 mark next week. Then, as a farmer, you have at least reached a cost price level." Ruud concludes.