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California rains hold off avocado growers for now

Avocado volumes are ample currently compared to this time last year.

California’s crop is delayed for now following the state’s significant and recent rains. “We anticipate increased production from California when the rain subsides and it will ramp up to 6-8 million lbs. weekly by the end of April,” says Raina Nelson, president/CEO of Westfalia Fruit Marketing USA LLC.

Nelson notes that the U.S. market is currently dominated by Mexican imports providing promotable peak-forming fruit. “Colombia and the Dominican Republic will soon contribute to U.S. supply and, combined with the rain-delayed California crop, will provide approximately five percent of total supply,” says Nelson.

That’s a different picture from last year at this time. “Last year, abundant volumes and fruit size were not as available and prices were substantially higher,” she says, noting 48-ct. fruit and larger were limited out of Mexico thus providing market demand for California to capitalize on. “California was eager to supply 15 percent of the domestic market at this time in the 2022 season. For the 2023 season, a market that has an ample supply of Mexican fruit coupled with heavy rains are both contributing factors for delayed market entry for California growers.”

The GEM®, a larger piece of fruit, will be available from California growers next month as a limited offer variety.  

More large fruit
On sizing, it is leaning towards larger fruit as Mexico is harvesting and there’s no anticipated slowdown in production through to the end of the crop. “Ample supplies should lead to plentiful promotional opportunities for retailers, particularly on the 48-ct. and larger sizes,” says Nelson.

As for demand, this year it has been increasing throughout Q1 and Nelson anticipates consumption growth to continue as it moves into spring and summer. “Strong promotional periods lie ahead as other countries of origins enter the market, namely Peru,” Nelson adds.

Also as far as availability, Westfalia has the GEM® avocado, a gourmet avocado variety that it is the exclusive marketer of in parts of the world. The GEM®, a larger piece of fruit, will be available from California growers next month as a limited offer variety.   

For more information:
Lauren Miller
Westfalia Fruit Group   

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