Avocado pull for 2024 looks similar to last year

From Fresh Plaza | 7 February 2024

Overview of avocados from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on February 7, 2024.

Supply and demand of avocados from Mexico look to be fairly balanced at the moment. “It’s the week before the Super Bowl and everything is in place,” says David Billings of Stonehill Produce Inc. “All the fruit that’s expected to be needed for distribution is ready to go with just a few finishing touches as far as conditioning is concerned. Some retailers and wholesalers for sure will want their fruit just about ripe and ready to go to meet whatever surges they’re getting.”

The pull for the Super Bowl, considered one of the top avocado-eating events, is fairly similar to last year at this time. “This year is about the same as last year,” he says, noting that in weeks 2 to 5, shipments have been elevated compared to the four weeks before Christmas-New Year’s week. “It’s a 15 percent bump which we experienced last year. This week we expect at least a 10 percent jump in shipments which is also very similar to last year.”

As for the supply, the total harvest is within percentage points of last year at this time. “Early on in the season we had a dry spell, a heat spell and less rain than we normally do June-September in Mexico, so the crop may have been a bit deprived,” says Billings.

avocado volumes by histo 7

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Sizing is less of an issue

Come October, it was a bit of a struggle to find the sizes that were needed, though over time, that’s become easier. For the Super Bowl, there’s been adequate volume available, and the sizes required were relatively easy to find. “The stepped-up harvest leading to the Super Bowl is well timed because it’s when a lot of growers like to get their fruit off the trees for normal cultural purposes. Some years there’s extraordinary grower pressure to sell but this year things were in decent balance,” Billings says.

Pricing in the field has remained relatively stable throughout the Super Bowl preparation process.

Looking ahead, demand post-Super Bowl is anticipated to soften for a week or two as it normally does given how much fruit gets shipped to shelves. “People are building gigantic displays to take advantage of promotional opportunities and invariably there are leftovers. Consumers are also buying more avocados than they normally do so it will last them a little longer too.”

After the post-Super Bowl dust settles, the big question on everybody’s mind is where week-in-week-out demand will settle. “Will we stay at those elevated demand levels or will we roll back to where it was before the New Year?” says Billings. Growers/shippers are also wondering if there are any longer-term effects related to early-on weather deprivation that will play out over the balance of this crop.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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