Spanish avocado producers are anticipating a positive campaign as demand on the European market continues to outstrip supply.
The 2017/18 crop is expected to be similar to last season at around 55,000 tonnes, with producers reporting excellent quality and optimum sizes for the European market.
Harvesting of Bacon and Fuerte got underway last month and the Hass harvest is due to begin in December.
According to producer association Asaja, European sales grew by 15 per cent in 2016 to just over 400,000 tonnes. This increase alone equates to Spain’s entire annual output.
“We expect a similar campaign to the last, with producing countries unable to meet demand. The global market is growing at an annual rate of 150,000 and 200,000 tonnes and around 1.7m tonnes of avocados are now sold every year, with Europe being one of the biggest consumers, which is why we are optimistic,” Asaja said.
The association noted that both Colombia and Mexico are likely to send more fruit to Europe in future as their production volume grows, while imports from Chile are expected to remain similar to last season’s total at 90,000 tonnes.
“The European market is booming and although availability from other producing countries is increasing, Spanish avocados have an excellent reputation in terms of quality and taste, and our proximity to the market allows us to supply fresher fruit that in many cases has been ripened at source,” said Martina Otten of Vélez-Málaga-based Trops.
New production areas are springing up at such a rate that growers say there are not enough good quality nursery trees to meet demand.