- AVOCADO SITUATION IN
|Selected country avocado
exports in 1997/98 reached a record 219,000 metric tons,
17 percent above the previous years shipments.
Export increases from Chile, South Africa and Spain more
than offset reduced shipments from Israel and Mexico.
Chiles avocado exports expanded by 177 percent in
1997/98, based on a larger harvest and increased import
demand in the United States. South Africas exports
increased by 111 percent and Spains exports rose by
72 percent in 1997/98 as shipments to other European
countries expanded, partly due to smaller exportable
supplies from Israel and Mexico. Selected country avocado
exports in 1998/99 are forecast to decrease by 2 percent
to 214,000 metric tons. Although selected country avocado
production is forecast to decrease by 8 percent in
1998/99, exports are not expected to decrease
proportionally because of likely higher U.S. imports.
U.S. exports are expected to remain unchanged at 4,000
- Mexico remains the
worlds largest producer of avocados. Production for
1998/99 (August/July) is forecast at 700,000 tons, down 8
percent from the revised 1997/98 estimate, due primarily
to El Niño-induced frost during the blooming period in
the principal growing region in the state of Michoacán.
- As of January 31, 1997,
USDAs Animal Plant Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) approved the importation of Mexican Hass avocados
from Michoacán into 19 northeastern U.S. states and the
District of Columbia from November through February,
provided growers meet pest-control requirements. APHIS
reports that this program has been running smoothly since
November 1997, when Mexican growers first began shipping
avocados to the U.S.
- Mexican avocado exports to
the U.S. in 1997/98 were 7,655 tons, less than the 10,000
- 15,000 originally estimated. For 1998/99, exports to
the United States are forecast at 10,000 - 12,000 tons.
Due to the partial lifting of the phytosanitary ban, the
United States has the potential of becoming a major
market for Mexican avocados. Mexican exporters have
expressed hopes of exporting 25,000 tons to the United
States in the near future.
- Total Mexican avocado
exports in 1998/99 are forecast to increase to 44,000
tons, an increase of 29 percent from last year, due
mainly to higher export-quality supplies. Canada and
Central America continue to be Mexicos largest
export markets. In 1997/98 exports of processed avocados
increased to 15,734 tons, up 21 percent from last year
and attributable to higher demand mainly from Central
- Although Mexico permits the
import of avocados, because of current prices, avocado
imports are not generally competitive in Mexico. Under
NAFTA, fresh avocado imports from the U.S. are subject to
a U.S. $0.066/kg duty for 1998 although this tariff is
scheduled to be phased out by 2004. Imported avocados are
also subject to phytosanitary and sanitary inspections by
SAGAR, the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and
- After Mexico and the United
States, Chile has become the worlds third largest
avocado producer. Avocado production for the 1998/99
season (January/December) is forecast at 86,000 tons, up
5 percent from the revised estimate for last
seasons record crop. The revised estimate
for the 1997/98 season indicates that Chilean avocado
production increased to 82,000 tons, up 55 percent from
the 1996/97 season. This sizable increase is not only a
result of a combination of excellent weather in all
growing areas and a large number of new orchards coming
into production, but also due to the fact that a severe
drought during the previous two seasons reduced
production. Output in 1998/99 is expected to expand
further to an estimated 86,000 tons as a result of
additional new orchards reaching production stage.
- Chile is tied with Mexico
as the worlds third largest avocado exporter.
Chiles exports increased by 177 percent in 1997/98
and are expected to continue strong in 1998/99. Avocado exports in 1998/99 are forecast to
increase to 44,000 tons, 3 percent above last years
- Despite continuing efforts
by avocado producers and exporters to diversify markets,
Chile is still overwhelmingly dependent on the U.S.
market. In 1997, the United States accounted for 24
percent of Chiles avocado exports. For 1998 (first
10 months), Chilean exports to the United States reached
27,944 tons. Other important export markets are
Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
- The Chilean Government has
no subsidy or special tax incentives for avocado
- South Africa
- Production in 1998/99
(November/October) is forecast at 75,000 tons, down 4
percent from the 1997/98 record crop of 78,350 tons. The
1997/98 avocado crop was a record due to ideal weather
conditions and an increasing percentage of trees coming
into bearing or reaching maturity.
- Exports for 1998/99 are
forecast at 45,000 tons, down 6 percent from
the 48,000 tons exported during the 1997/98 season. Exports in
1997/98 more than doubled, due to the larger production.
Practically all of South Africas exports are
targeted for the European Union, with the United Kingdom,
Belgium, and Switzerland being the largest markets.
- Avocado production for
1998/99 (July/June) is forecast at 50,000 tons, down 17
percent, following last years record crop of 60,000
tons. Ideal growing conditions during 1997/98 are not
expected to be repeated for 1998/99.
- Exports in 1998/99 are
forecast at 47,000 tons, a decrease of 14 percent from
last year, due to the lower production forecast. About 97
percent of these exports are shipped to other EU
countries with France, the United Kingdom and the
Netherlands comprising the three largest EU markets.
- Spanish domestic
consumption of avocados is relatively low, about 0.3 kg.
per capita. Consumption for 1998/99 is forecast at 8,000
tons and remains firm due to increasing familiarity with
the product and increased availability.
- Avocado production in
1998/99 (October/September) is forecast at 55,000 tons,
down 14 percent from last years revised estimate
due to excessively hot spring weather and scarce water
- Exports from Israel are
forecast to decrease to 30,000 tons, down 14 percent from
1997/98, due to lower production and higher domestic
prices vis-a-vis export prices. France remains
Israels largest export market.
- Japanese consumption of
fresh avocados depends entirely on imports, since there
is no domestic production. Fresh avocado consumption has been gradually increasing
since being introduced in Japan in the early 1980s.
Domestic consumption is forecast at 8,100 tons for the
1998/99 year, an increase of
34 percent from last year.
- The U.S. and Mexico are the
sole avocado suppliers to Japan. Recently, the U.S. share
in the Japanese avocado market has been declining while
Mexican share has been increasing, due largely to
improved quality and price competitiveness of Mexican
- United States
- Preliminary assessments for
1998/99 indicate production could approximate 140,000
tons, a decrease of 13 percent, due to unfavorable
weather including an early freeze in California, and pest
problems. The official 1998/99 estimate of U.S. avocado
production will be available from USDAs National
Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in July 1999.
- U.S. exports of avocados
for 1997/98 totaled 4,230 tons, 15 percent below the
previous years level. Higher prices in foreign
markets influenced by a stronger dollar and increased
domestic demand discouraged exports. Exports in 1998/99
are forecast to remain at about 4,000 tons.
- U.S. avocado imports
increased significantly in 1997/98 to 47,775 tons, up 76
percent above the previous year. The overwhelming
majority came from Chile, over 32,900 tons or 69 percent,
followed by Mexico, 7655 tons or 16 percent of the import
total. Total U.S. imports in 1998/99 are likely to
increase significantly to 60,000 tons, due to the
expected smaller U.S. production.
- The United States imports
Mexican processed avocados. In 1997/98, imports increased
21 percent to 15,734 tons. Imports of processed avocados
are likely to increase slightly in 1998/99 due to
expected increases in imports from Mexico.
- Supplemented by avocado
imports, U.S. consumption in 1997/98 increased 6 percent to 205,251 tons. In 1998/99
consumption is forecast to decrease slightly to 196,000
tons, as the forecast increase in imports is not expected
to compensate for the 13 percent decrease in U.S.
- For further
information on production, supply, distribution, and
trade contact Lisa Anderson, Horticultural and Tropical
Products Division, (202) 720-5028. For information on
U.S. marketing opportunities, contact Steve Shnitzler at
Last modified: Thursday, April 06, 2000