According to official data from China Customs, the country imported 18,900 tons of avocado during the first nine months of this year, i.e. 23.8% less than in the same period of the previous year. 4,136 tons of this volume were imported from Chile (-22.4%), 12,797 tons from Peru (+ 0.4%), and 1,804 tons from Mexico (-73.3%).
According to a recent report from the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA), Chilean avocado exports between January and September of this year showed a 46.1% year-on-year decrease in volume and a 43.3% decrease in value.
Faced with this decrease in their export volume, the Chilean fruit industry has redoubled its efforts to seek new markets abroad. On August 4, 2020, Antonio Walker, Chile's Minister of Agriculture, announced that Chilean avocados had officially gained access to the Australian market. Chile is the second country that can export avocados to Australia, after New Zealand.
On September 23, Chilean avocados were also allowed to enter South Korea, where the first container arrived in November.
However, it should be noted that the Chilean avocado has two main markets: the local market and Europe.
The high season for Chilean avocado exports goes from October to December of each year. Despite the marked decrease in the export volume during the first nine months of this year, the USDA report predicts that Chile will export a total of 145,000 tons of avocado in 2020, a similar volume to the one achieved in 2019.
Forecasts for 2021
The report also includes predictions on Chile's avocado production volume for next year. In 2021, the production area is expected to remain stable at around 30,000 hectares. Based on this, and assuming productivity also remains stable, the report estimates that Chile's total avocado production in 2021 will reach 220,000 tons.