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"The avocado market is favorable and benefitting Chile"

To date, Chile has exported more than 107,000 tons of Hass avocados to various international markets, i.e. 33% more than at the same date in 2016. There's been an increase in exports to all international markets that receive this Chilean fruit, which shows that domestic exports of this product are booming.

"Our exports to China have grown significantly. By last week, we had exported almost twice that which we had exported by the same time last year. This was achieved despite having entered the market with a pretty bad price due to the fruit's quality. However, we managed to rebound in November mainly because the quality of our fruit improved and because of the promotional actions we developed. As a result, there was an increase in prices and a rebound in shipments, which were having a downward trend," said Juan Enrique Lazo, general manager of Chile's Hass Avocado Committee.

According to Lazo, the sector exported a total of 5,300 tons of Hass avocados to China in 2015 and it has now sent about 10,000 tons, which shows the sector's growth, even though this market isn't the industry's primary focus.

The promotions carried out have helped develop the market and the presence of Chilean avocados among Chinese consumers. Some of these promotions, which have had a positive effect on prices and the demand, have been developed by the promotion area of ASOEX. "We conduct the main campaigns at the points of sale, and these are the most powerful actions to increase sales. We conduct actions in 26 supermarket stores and over 20 shops specialized in selling fruit. These actions at the points of sale ended at Christmas, and we are now conducting activities on social networks," the manager of the Committee stated.

Europe 1 Chile 2
"The main target market for our avocados is Europe, followed by the United States, China, and Argentina. Our avocados are highly valued in Europe. They are the best avocados reaching Europe and, therefore, they have very good prices. Their consumption is very good during our window, which runs from August 2016 to March 2017," he added.

The Chilean industry had exported about 66,000 tons of Hass avocados to Europe by the week of January 2. "We believe that we won't exceed the 80,000 tons we sent to the European market last year but we'll ship a similar volume, and that is very good," he said.

The main destinations within the European market are the Netherlands, which has received more than 38,000 tons, England, with nearly 14,000 tons, Spain with 6,000 tons, and France with nearly 4,000 tons.

Not too long ago, more than 50 percent of Chile's Hass avocado production remained in the country. Now, the balance has changed and the country exports more than 60% of its production. However, the domestic market continues to rank second. The reasons for the decrease? "Chile is more depressed, people are consuming less fruit because of the decline in purchasing power. That's why we are carrying out promotional campaigns, supporting sporting events and cookery programs on TV and on social networks to encourage consumption again," Lazo said.

The United States is the third destination market for Chilean avocados. Up until the week of January 2, Chile had sent about 22,300 tons of Hass avocados to this market, i.e. more than twice the 10,000 tons sent last year. "We are getting very good prices in the United States this year; something we didn't expect from this season's forecasts," said the leader.

Exports to Latin America exceed 9,000 tons, and markets like Argentina stand out. "Argentina is a market in which, despite its economic situation, our avocados have high and stable prices. Consumption has decreased, but it's still very good." To date, shipments of Chilean Hass avocado to Argentina exceed 6,000 tons. Argentina is followed by Costa Rica with more than 1,000 tons, and Brazil with nearly 200 tons.

Source: SimFRUIT
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