The New Zealand avocado season is well underway, the first small export volumes left for Asia in July and avocados are now being shipped to Australia and 9 Asian markets.
South Korea, Thailand, China. Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong will likely take the most volumes this year, with good volumes to Malaysia, India and Japan.
"Orchards closest to the coast are usually first to reach the 24 per cent dry matter required for export," explains Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado and President of the World Avocado Congress Committee. "We have a few orchards on islands around New Zealand and a number, across both the North and South regions that are close to the coast and reach maturity first.
"Our crop is a little lighter than last year, which was a good volume crop across all regions. We have some new production coming on, so overall we are forecasting being 10-15% down for export on the previous year."
In the previous season the Australian market crashed well before New Zealand avocados arrived in their market, so exporters quickly moved quite a significant volume to the Asian markets. The result in 2021-22 was a trebling of volume going to Asia, which has been a strategic objective for the industry for some years.
"Freight is still very challenging. Exporters are needing to be very agile, and of course delays in ships arriving and departing and changes in the route just increase the challenge to deliver premium quality avocados to our customers and consumers."
World Avocado Congress 2023
New Zealand’s growing avocado industry will take the spotlight in April 2023 when the country hosts the World Avocado Congress for the first time ever.
The global avocado market was worth approximately $8 billion (USD) in 2020, and is expected to grow to $17 billion (USD) by 2025. The World Avocado Congress has become the most prestigious global event to celebrate the sector.
"We are very excited to report that we have over 420 registrations so far, from 15 countries, with more than 200 registrations from outside New Zealand. On top of that we have the sponsors and exhibitors tickets, so we are already at 500 attendees," said Jen.
The New Zealand sponsors are headed with the gold sponsorship by Darling Group, with Avoco and Radfords Software as silver sponsors and Seeka as a bronze sponsor. Mission are a foundation global sponsor, with more to be announced very soon.
"Exhibition space opened up this week so we are expecting lots of interest from service providers to the industry and also from the countries intending to bid to host the 2027 congress. We will be attending Asia Fruit Logistica to promote the World Avocado Congress and hope to secure more registrations and exhibitions."