Mexican supplies of avocados are strong currently. “There’s plenty of supply available. However the size curve has shifted towards larger fruit,” says Patrick Lucy of Del Rey Avocado, noting even with growers shifting to higher elevations for harvest in Mexico, the size curve is as much as 50-60 percent of 48s and larger. “So it’s causing an issue on the smaller sizes--70s and 84s have become pretty tight and have been over the past two weeks.”
In general, it’s a better picture than last year at this time with a larger crop from Mexico. Lucy says there’s also a better understanding of what is actually on the trees. “Last year the Mexican crop estimate was missed by 400 million lbs. This year it seems to be pretty close to it. The amount of volume coming off over the past three weeks has been just as much as Superbowl. It seems like they have a lot of fruit left,” says Lucy.
In addition to Mexican fruit, there’s also a small bit of Colombian fruit coming in. While California would normally be harvesting at this time, the recent rains have interrupted consistent harvest efforts.
The push to harvest
To meet those good supplies is good demand for avocados. “It is better than it was in the fall and early winter. It seems like most retailers have had them on ad week after week and the movement seems to be pretty good,” he says. Last year at this time is when prices started to push up into the $50s-$60s range and California was harvesting a significant amount of fruit at this time too. “Mexico was harvesting a decent amount but just couldn’t keep up with what was going on. This year Mexico does have enough to meet that demand and California will help pick up on the smaller sizes when we get going,” says Lucy.
As for this year’s pricing, it’s roughly 30-40 percent less than last year at this time, though Lucy notes pricing could move up between April-May when good quality fruit will be available from both California and Mexico. “They will have good promotable months there leading into summer so we could see that price increase,” he says.
Looking ahead, Mexico will continue to harvest heavily with the size of the crop they have. “They’re moving towards the end of the year so you’re seeing a lot more of the darker fruit. Then as soon as it dries out, California, even though it has a small crop, is going to harvest at maximum capacity from the beginning of April through the end of July week after week to be able to get their crop off in time,” says Lucy.
For more information:
Del Rey Avocado
Tel: +1 (760) 728-8325