Export volumes almost double last year

South African avocados to hit EU shores

South African avocado exports are back to traditional volumes this year, after a down season last year which was hit by hail at the end of 2010. It is expected that 48,000 tons will be exported to the UK and Europe.

The first shipment will arrive in Europe early next week, followed by the first UK arrival in a week or two. This season's volumes will almost double the 27,000 tons exported last year. Derek Donkin, CEO of the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA), said that growing conditions have been excellent, "plenty of rain in the first part of the growing season followed by dry and sunny weather later has allowed a heavy crop with good internal quality."

The South African fruit is arriving to a good European market demand, with the Israeli season ending early and the Spanish fruit affected by the cold in February.

According to Donkin, South African avocado production is set to increase in the coming years with an extra 250 HA being planted each year. New markets are being explored for this extra production, including the US and Japan. This is subject to satisfying the technical requirements of these countries.

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