South Africa has reduced its estimate for avocado exports this season from 18.5m 4kg cartons to 16m, (64,000 tons). Smaller fruit size and less demand for greenskins have contributed to this reduction.
“We are now a quarter way through the harvest and well into the main export season,” said Derek Donkin from Subtrop. “We have been exporting for a month already and it is going well so far. The physical exports have not really been affected by the lock downs and the ports are operating well, but the market for avocados is down in Europe. Anything which was destined for food service has stopped as all restaurants etc have closed down, this has affected our exports of greenskins as they go into that trade. There is also less going into the Baltic states as transportation from Rotterdam across to the east has been very difficult. The Baltic states are also an important market for greenskins. Hass volumes have been steady and are as expected.
“We are now expecting large volumes to come into Europe from Peru and we will see what happens then. Peru has a good crop which they would like to get into Europe, but they have also face restrictions from COVID-19. We expect larger volumes from Peru to start arriving in the next week or two.”
“We are hoping that people will continue to buy avocados during the lock down, sales have been consistently increasing in the last few years and people are also concerned about their health just now.”
South Africa should maintain the current volumes until week 30 when it will start to tail off a bit, the last arrivals in Europe will be into October.