Late Peru avocado season advantageous for PacPro/Agrokasa

From The Produce News | 23 June 2023

Overview of avocados from Peru in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 22, 2023. 

It is no secret that the marketing of avocados in the United States is challenging this year as a very large 2022/23 crop from Mexico has set the stage for abundant supplies and lower FOB prices.

This is good news for consumers, which should see avocado promotions throughout the summer. The situation has also led to both Peru and California grower-shippers shifting their peak shipping periods to later in the year. This is also advantageous for South Florida-based Pacific Produce and its Peruvian owner/supplier Agrokasa.

“Most of the U.S. customers are requesting that Peru supply them from July to September,” said Isabel Tavera. “Agrokasa/Pacific Produce has its peaks in August/September so we will be able to match with the timing requested by the U.S. retail community. In fact, we should have fruit through the second week of October.”

She added that this is a challenge for some avocado growers in Peru that have their avocado ranches in the northern regions of the country, which mature earlier and is the fruit that is typically sent to the U.S. market in the April through June time frame. “Agrokasa’s groves are located in the south of Peru, so the summer timing is perfect for us.”

avocado volumes by histo 5

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

Tavera said the preponderance of late shipments also means that U.S. consumers will be getting a better eating experience from Peru. She explained that the avocados harvested later will naturally have a higher oil content, which is generally preferred by consumers.

Though this will be a more difficult year for Peru avocados, Tavera said Agrokasa is up for the challenge. “We will continue to be a player in the market for years to come,” she said. “You have to take a longer view. You can’t just be in and out of the market because of marketing conditions. In our particular case, we are investing in our people, picking fruit when it is at its best and working as a category manager for our U.S. customers.”

She did add that Agrokasa is aware of the situation and continues to develop markets in other regions as well. She said Europe, Asia and Chile are good markets for Peruvian avocados. “Peru is the No. 1 source of avocados for Europe and the market in Chile continues to grow.”

For the U.S. market this season, PacPro/Agrokasa is offering a steady price and is following the mantra to only ship avocados to the United States that have been sold.

Looking toward the future, Tavera said Agrokasa has recently acquired a new avocado ranch in the Pisco area of Peru, which will give it more fruit and more options. One thing the grower operation is looking at is the development of the organic avocado market. “We see how that market has evolved and organics do offer a new opportunity,” she said.

Agrokasa is also a supplier of other fresh items to its U.S. customers, which makes it a more valuable trading partner. Tavera said the Peruvian grapes she sold in the United States this season featured the newer varieties and the “quality was amazing. It was a great year for grapes. We increased our volume by about 20 percent. Lots of customers are already asking us about next season, which we start in November. I have never talked so much about our grape program this early in the season.”

The company also offers fresh blueberries and asparagus. She said Agrokasa continues to work with the University of Florida to find better varieties to grow and ship to the United States to continue to increase its value.

PacPro is a leading grower, importer, and distributor of high-quality vegetables and fruits and it is Agrokasa’s marketing and distribution arm in North America.

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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