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Increased demand for Moroccan avocados continues

Though growers across the world are continuously planting more avocado trees, the market for avocados remains strong on the back of high demand. Even for net-exporting countries, growing domestic demand has kept prices strong.

“The demand for avocados is increasing worldwide,” said Aziz Abdou Simo of ABAZ Societe Civile Agricole. “Demand is increasing in Spain, Chile, Peru, Israel; all local markets show more demand and, at the same time, the demand on the world market is increasing.” With groves in Morocco, Simo ships his avocados mostly to Europe, with France and the Netherlands two big destinations. Buyers in the Netherlands usually re-ship the avocados received, though the French market is more of a consumer destination.

“Our production is from mid-December to mid-May, and the bulk of what we ship goes out in March,” said Simo. “We are very similar to Spain, so our product is almost identical to Spanish avocados.” But instead of competition between the two countries, Simo noted that strong demand means there's enough business for all exporters.

“There's competition when there's more production coming in than there is demand,” said Simo. “But, because there's not too much product, there's no competition and we're all just sharing the market.” Frosts and water shortages could limit supplies in Chile, and if the drought in California cuts into yields then the world market could get even more robust.

“Chile and Mexico will both send a lot of their fruit to the United States,” said Simo. “Spain and Morocco will have normal seasons, but, with the same conditions as last year, I think we will again have high prices.” The Hass is the most popular variety, and that lack of varietal diversity could also be a weakness if something were to affect Hass production.

"The Hass is one of the most sensitive varieties, so if you have just one very hot summer or very cold winter it will be damaged,” said Simo. “That, along with climate change and a lack of water in many regions is why the market for avocados can change very quickly.” Bees are also an important part of avocado production, and that requires growers like Simo to use farming practices that border on organic production in order to maintain optimal conditions. All that is done in order to increase production for a market, both at home and abroad, that wants more avocados.

“For the past three years, we've planted 300 or 400 new hectares of avocado trees, but they haven't matured yet,” said Simo. “There's more production, and it's increasing, but it's just increasing slowly.”

For more information:

Aziz Abdou Simo
ABAZ Societe Civile Agricole
Tel.: 00212-522-222488

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