Israel’s avocado industry, that has just started the 2023/24 harvest season, is seeing good early demand from European markets for the Greenskin variety. “The Greenskin season just started. Demand in the EU is good for now, but we expect a challenging season going forward into the main season,” says Yonatan Meron, Export Manager of Granot Fresh.
He warns that although the start of the season is good for the Greenskin avocados, a traditionally large market for these exports namely Russia has its problems. This includes ongoing international sanctions as well as the exclusion from the international banking payments system. This makes transfers and payments from Russia challenging. “Bear in mind the instability in Russia which is an important market for the Israeli Greenskin,” warns Meron.
He expects Israel’s avocado exports to reach the same volume as in the 2021-22 season. “Total export of 125,000 tons is expected. Hass will be 75,000 tons and Greenskins 50,000 tons.”
Granot is the largest agriculture cooperative in Israel that belongs to 43 Kibbutzim, making them one of the biggest packers and exporters of avocado and citrus in Israel. They grow 3,200 hectares of avocados with 70 years of experience says Meron.
Hass harvest starting mid-October
“The Hass season will begin during mid-October. We will be carefully picking fruits from selected plots with higher dry matter. From November onward till the end of March, we will move into the main season of the Hass. We foresee a good demand for our Hass throughout the whole season, since supply from some winter suppliers is low and the market is expected to be undersupplied mainly in bigger sizes.”
The exchange rate between Israel’s Shekel (ILS) and the Euro, Dollar and Pound is closely watched. Their local currency has for years been much stronger, meaning lower returns to growers. This has changed since the start of the year with the Shekel weakening thereby bringing in more export earnings. “As for now, the exchange rates between the ILS and the Euro/GBP/Dollar is helping our growers to increase the returns,” states Meron.