Spain expects an avocado harvest of 55,000 tonnes

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The quality and size of avocado this season are adequate for the European market

avocado

The sector expects a good marketing year because of the dynamic demand in the EU. / Archive

The avocado season will soon begin in the Axarquía area of Málaga, with the harvest of early varieties. Asaja Málaga forecasts a harvest of 55,000 tonnes and plans to have a stable season with an adequate quality and size fruit to be successful enough in the markets. However, the avocado season is long, so the estimated figures may vary depending on the weather. Therefore, Asaja does not rule out that if the weather is favourable, the production could exceed 60,000 tonnes.

In addition, the sector expects a good marketing year, because the demand in the EU is more dynamic than ever. The total amount of avocado sold in Europe in 2016 exceeded the historic figure of 400,000 tonnes, if compared to the volume of 348,415 tonnes sold in 2015, which represent a marketing increase of almost 15%. The annual consumption increase in Europe represents a similar volume to that produced in Spain over a whole year.

As for other competing countries, the harvest estimates for Chile stand at 210,000 tonnes, 5% more than in the previous season. The focal point for the Chilean avocado market is the international market, both in the U.S. and Europe, but also Asia, which is gradually increasing its purchases, so the European market is likely to maintain last year’s imported volume from Chile of 90,000 tonnes.

The general belief is that Mexico is going to export greater volumes towards Europe, although due to its form of commercialization, this does not seem to affect sales for now.

In Israel, the registered production of mid and late season varieties (Hass and Pinkerton) will decrease more than the early varieties (Ettinger, Fuerte). The exporting potential stands at 55,000 tonnes. The Community market will receive between 45,000 and 50,000 tonnes. In the season 2016-17, Israel exported 55,000 tonnes.

Colombia will continue to increase its exports to Europe, despite the opening of the United States market. Colombia’s production has been registering a very rapid growth in exports to the European Union, going from less than 4,000 tonnes in 2014-15, to more than 24,000 tonnes in 2016-17. The length of their commercial calendar (from October to March, and later from May to June), make Colombia one of the most attractive markets of origin in winter.

The Moroccan 2017-18 season will register an excellent harvest, both in terms of volume and fruit calibre, whilst the expected exports to the EU stand at around 15,000 tonnes.

Overall, the agricultural organization Asaja Malaga, expects a similar season to the previous one, with an increasing demand that cannot be covered currently by all the producing countries. The world market has a strong average growth rate of 150,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes and an overall trade of 1.7 million tonnes per year, making the European market one of the largest consumers of avocado.