Industry diversifies export markets

US avocado trade will become increasingly lopsided

Given the strong demand for avocados, the disparity between US imports and US exports is set to widen further. US exports reached a multi-year high in 2013, fuelled by strong domestic production.

Since then, a combination of flat to declining national production and vigorous domestic demand have restricted US exports, which also exhibit the typical alternate bearing pattern in production (see figure below).

US avocado exports to Canada have declined substantially over the past five years, as California avocados face increasing competition from Mexican avocados in the Canadian market. On the other hand, South Korea and Japan have become the main destination markets for US avocados, accounting for about 50% of US exports in the past couple of seasons.

Other Asian markets, such as China/Hong Kong and Taiwan, continue to grow. Diversified markets receiving increasing avocado volumes from the US include Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Exports to Asian markets have remained at relatively low volumes, but there are significant untapped opportunities for demand expansion.

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