The Netherlands is very much at the centre of things when it comes to the international trade in avocados. As the latest two of our featured infographics – supplied by the OEC – illustrate below, the Dutch lead the way as avocado importers in Europe, bringing in a volume of product worth around US$322m in 2014, compared with US$213m in France, US$111m in the UK, US$95.2m in Germany, US$88.8m in Spain and US$31.7m in Russia.
Incidentally, the United States spent a whopping US$1.49bn on imported avocados that same year, with 85 per cent coming from Mexico and none of it from Europe.
A number of other European markets did spend sizeable sums on avocados too, but they were largely spending their money on product shipped via Dutch importers: for example, avocado imports into Sweden were worth US$54.8m in 2014, but 73 per cent were from the Netherlands and barely 10 per cent overall came direct from source; Norway spent a bit more (US$81.5m), with around half brought up from receivers in the Benelux; and in Italy, similarly, importers spent US$20.3m on avocados but two-thirds came from the Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK.
What’s more, if you explore the OEC’s various other data visualisations for avocados, you’ll see that the Netherlands is way out in front in terms of being an avocado exporter too – entirely the result of its re-export role in the European fresh produce trade.
Not a single one of its northern European neighbours comes anywhere close to the US$213m in avocado export sales it registered in 2014, the last year for which OEC trade data (sourced from the UN agency Comtrade) is available. Only Spain, which of course differs from the Netherlands in actually producing its own avocados, came close with export sales of US$192m during the same year; although clearly some of that export trade will have ended up passing through Dutch hands on its way to other countries.
NB: the figures quoted below all relate to 2014 and represent fresh and dried avocado sales combined.