Tight supplies of avocados for Cinco de Mayo?

From Fresh Plaza | 21 April 2022

Overview of avocados in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on April 20, 2022. 

Supplies of avocados are tight currently as the industry heads into a typical promotional period for the popular fruit.

“It seems like fruit is moving into the higher altitude and it’s harder and harder to find in Mexico. So the inventory has dwindled over the past week and a half and now there probably won’t be any harvesting or picking or packing for at least the next four days,” says Gary Clevenger of Freska Produce in Oxnard, CA. “Everybody is scrambling looking for fruit the last couple of days, especially with Easter pulls and Cinco de Mayo. Pulls for that will be starting next week.”

This kind of low supply from Mexico is unusual this year. “It seems like the crop is a little lower than anticipated. Normally there are good supplies for Cinco,” says Clevenger.

avocado volumes by histo 32

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

Pressure on California?

Meanwhile the Irvine, CA-based California Avocado Commission reported recently that California growers have already harvested more of their crop this year compared to last year at this time due to market conditions and available supply. The association reports that through March 7, growers had already harvested 40 million lbs. of California avocados–it had projected about 6-8 million lbs. in the first two months of the year. “California growers this year are going to do very well,” says Clevenger. “We had that shut down in Mexico for a week in February and that created a gap and California growers went out and filled that gap. Pricing for California fruit this year has been very good and I’d expect that to continue as well.”

avocado volumes by histo 33

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

Chile is also shipping fruit right now as is Colombia, though those volumes are more marginal compared to the amount of fruit Mexico produces. “And Peru will show up mid to late May. I heard they were a little bit later this year than last year,” says Clevenger.

All in all, U.S. consumers consume some 60-65 million lbs. of avocados weekly and the combined volume available right now is approximately 44 million lbs.

Of course, prices have spiked because of all this and currently are at least 80 percent higher than last year at this time. “And only having 44 million lbs. going into this promotional period, I’d expect pricing to last two to three more weeks like this, maybe even longer or into the summertime,” says Clevenger. “It’s going to be tight.”

avocado prices by histor 11

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

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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