AU: Avocado prices unlikely to fall as crop forecast cut

An early start to the storm season and a lower than expected fruit set means Australia is unlikely to hit its original avocado production target for 2017-18.

Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas said, based on the early flowering, there were early forecasts up to 75,000 tonnes of fruit could be harvested throughout 2017-18 but this was looking increasingly unlikely.

“Now that orchards have been through the fruit set period, some regions are reporting poorer fruit set than was expected, despite a very good flowering initially,” Mr Tyas said. “Added to this, we have already had hail storms in avocado growing regions in North Queensland and Northern New South Wales, plus repeated severe Spring storms in Central Queensland. Obviously, we still have the Summer storm season and the usual hot dry conditions in southern areas to come as well.”

Graph courtesy: Avocados Australia Facts at a Glance 2016-17

Mr Tyas said the situation was compounded for the local market by a potential 50 per cent reduction in the New Zealand crop.

“New Zealand supplements our Australian supply during Spring and Summer, so although Australia’s supply forecast for the year is still up, New Zealand’s ‘off-year’ means total supplies are likely to be similar to last year,” he said. “I’d expect supply to be steady during the next couple of months and fruit could be a bit short in the first quarter of 2018.

He adds: “As for prices, those are determined by supply and demand, and it has to be said Australian demand for avocados continues to grow. The total supply forecast for this year, Australia and NZ combined, doesn’t suggest there will be anything that looks like a glut of fruit, so I wouldn’t expect to see any major price discounting.”

For more information:
Lisa Yorkston
Avocados Australia Limited 
Phone: +61 7 3846 6566 

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