Peruvian avocado shippers are expecting a less challenging export campaign in Europe this year.
Fewer anticipated supply peaks, a more attractive US market and the shorter South African crop, all herald a smoother ride for exporters who will be keen to avoid the price collapse which followed last year’s record shipments during the summer months.
According to ProHass, shipments got underway in week 15 and exports are expected to reach a total of 335,000 tonnes.
A key feature of the 2019 campaign will be a better distribution of fruit throughout the season, thanks to new plantations in the north of Peru coming into production earlier, which has already led to higher weekly shipments during April.
At the beginning of May there was some price pressure on small and medium-sized fruit, while the market for larger sizes was much firmer.
Rob Cullum from the UK’s Pacific Produce told Fruitnet that the outlook this year was far more positive than in 2018.
“It is true that there is more fruit from the early areas of Peru, but I don’t think the impact [on the European market] will be too dramatic because Spain and Israel are finished and South Africa has an off year,” he said.
“The big change will come in one or two weeks’ time when Peru increases shipments to the rest of the world and North America in particular.”
With California expecting its lowest crop for a decade and high prices on the US market since early April, a growing proportion of Peruvian shipments will be destined for the North American market.
Cullum said the expectation was that Peru would send around 100 fewer containers per week than last year to Europe.
“That would still be an increase over 2017 but in combination with the lower South African volume we should not have a situation like last year where the mid-Summer volumes outpaced demand,” he said.
Overall, Cullum noted that Peru’s export volume was expected to fall slightly on 2018 levels, but with a more even spread throughout the season.