Soaring global demand and lower output from Mexico, Peru and California have pushed avocado prices to their highest level in almost 20 years.
According to Bloomberg data released ahead of this week’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in the US, a 10kg carton of Hass avocados from the state of Michoacán was being sold for US$27.89 on Thursday, more than double what it cost at this time last year and a 19-year high.
An ongoing strike in Mexico, the world’s biggest avocado exporter and the main supplier to the US, coupled with a 44 per cent drop in Californian volume and a fall in Peruvian production due to heavy rains and flooding, means supply is expected to remain tight during the coming weeks.
Consumption is rising rapidly across the globe. In the US alone, per capita consumption leapt from just over 1.5kg in 2006 to more than 3kg in 2015.
“You have increased consumption in China and other areas of the world like Europe,” Rabobank analyst Roland Fumasi told Bloomberg. “They’re pulling a lot more of the Mexican crop, so there’s less available for the US.”