Mexican avocado exports have more than quadrupled in the past eight years and are set to break new records in 2015, fuelled principally by rising demand in the US. Figures published in a report in El Economista show that the country shipped 458,945 tonnes in the first half of the year with a corresponding value of US$973m, representing a rise of 27.9 per cent and 21.7 per cent on the year-earlier period.
“Ever since the US market opened, Mexican exports have been growing strongly,” said Ricardo Vega of Michoacán-based Fruticula Velo, which ships avocados to the US, Canada, Japan and China.
The US began the process of opening its market in 1997, lifting an embargo that had been in place for 83 years. Full access was granted in 2007 when imports into California, Florida and Hawaii were finally allowed.
This paved the way for a sharp rise in exports, with volumes rising from 119,000 tonnes in 2006 to 612,000 tonnes in 2014. Today, Mexico produces around 80 per cent of the world’s avocados and accounts for 46.2 per cent of exports.