The avocados currently available in the Chinese market mainly come from Chile, New Zealand, and Mexico. An additional small supply volume comes from domestic production areas in Yunnan. The differences in product quality are huge, and so the prices also show significant differences. One avocado importer shared their insights into the current condition of the Chinese avocado market.
Chilean production areas
The Chilean avocado production volume was huge this year. Specialists in the Chilean avocado industry are optimistic about the prospects of Chilean avocado export to the Chinese market. The first avocados of the season already arrived in Guangzhou Jiangnan Market two weeks ago. The first avocados mainly came from farms in north Chile. However, the dry matter content of these avocados was not big enough, because they were harvested early in the season, and so these avocados lacked the characteristic glutinous flavor. Relevant authorities in Chile stipulate a minimum dry matter content of more than 21% before an avocado can be harvested. Only if the dry matter content is big enough will the avocado continue to ripen properly during long distance transport. Some Chinese importers therefore require a dry matter content of more than 23%.
Many fruit varieties from the Southern Hemisphere enter the global market around this time of year. When asked about the impact of other popular fruits on the sales conditions of avocados, the avocado importer replied that cherries and blueberries sell well in the festive period around Christmas, New Year, and Chinese Spring Festival [1 February, 2022]. Chinese consumers purchase these fruits as gifts for family, friends, and business relations. That is why many traders in the market focus all their attention on cherries. Some retailers give over their most prominent counters to promote cherry brands. The popularity of cherries certainly has an impact on avocado sales.
New Zealand production areas
The avocado supply season is coming to an end in New Zealand and Peru, just as the supply season is starting in Chile. Avocado farms in New Zealand mostly supply markets in Korea and Japan. This year, however, because the production volume is huge this year and last year's product quality impressed consumers, New Zealand avocado suppliers have set their eyes on the Chinese market. New Zealand avocado farmers hope to expand their export market in China," explained the avocado importer. "We have not encountered significant problems with shipping or customs clearance. We just have to upload product information according to the requirements of the General Administration Customs China (GACC), and then we can proceed."
"The avocados from New Zealand look very well. Their appearance is glossy and they contain a lot of oil. New Zealand obtained permission to export avocados to the Chinese market in 2018. New Zealand avocados arrived rather late compared to Chilean avocados, and their brands are not as well established in the Chinese market as brands from other production areas. That is why their import volume is rather small. But even though the import volume is not big, different suppliers can speak to different preferences among Chinese consumers," explained the avocado importer.
Mexican production areas
Mexico was the first country to obtain permission to export avocados to the Chinese market. Their production areas are widely distributed. Their production volume is huge. And they can produce avocados all year round. Chinese consumers are very familiar with Mexican avocados. However, the weather conditions in Mexican avocado production areas are rather moist compared to other avocado production areas, which negatively affects the appearance of Mexican avocados, especially during long-distance transport.
The sales conditions of Mexican avocados were also affected by global shipping delays. When supply was limited, because ships arrived late, the price was high and Mexican avocados sold well. The current price of Mexican avocados is around 100 yuan [15.70 USD] per box of 5.5 kg.
Yunnan production areas
The overall surface area devoted to avocado plantation in Yunnan has been expanding for the last few years. However, most of the avocado trees are too young for peak production, so the overall production volume per hectare is still small. And the Yunnan avocados can not yet compete with import avocados in terms of product quality.
According to the avocado importer, "there are several reasons for this situation. First, avocado farmers in Yunnan are not planting the Hass avocado variety that is so popular in the market, but grow the Pinkerton avocado instead. That is why the avocado supply from Yunnan is not matched with the market. It is possible that many farmers at the time were not sure which variety they planted. Second, the Yunnan avocado plantations are relatively new and the level of science and technology in plantation management is still rather low. The product quality still requires a lot of improvement."