Peru is enjoying record-high market prices for avocados thanks to galloping demand for its fruit on major markets, especially in Europe where it now sells more than two-thirds of its total exports.
“It’s simply amazing,” says Peru ProHass general manager Arturo Medina during a week-long market visit to the UK. “At an average of some €16 per 4kg carton these are the highest market prices we have ever seen for our avocados.”
The high prices have not dampened exports, quite the contrary in fact. “Our exports are growing fast even with market prices are as much as 20 per cent higher than they were last year,” reports Medina, speaking exclusively to Fruitnet Media.
Peru exports 70 per cent of its avocados to Europe, where the UK and Germany are the key consumer markets for the green fruit. Sales in the UK have boomed in the last year, thanks to direct shipments from Peru, says Medina. “They’re up by as much as 60 per cent in one year.”
Peru is spending significant sums on in-market promotion, with more than US$300,000 earmarked for Germany and US$200,000 for the UK this season,. which will conclude at the end of August. Promotions have been the key to market growth, says Medina.
El Niño has curtailed avocado production in Peru this season, reducing volumes to 165,000 tonnes from a pre-season forecast of 195,000 tonnes. But ongoing planting of avocados, focussed on around Olmos in the north of Peru, is expected to push production to more than 230,000 tonnes in the next few seasons.
Peru is confident that continued growth in global demand will allowed the increase in production to be swallowed up, especially since markets in Asia have yet properly to discover avocados in the way they have become bestsellers in Europe and the US, which together take some 90 per cent of Peru’s total exports.
Hear the audio interview (in Spanish: https://soundcloud.com/chrisfruitnet/recording-1-1
See how Peru is promoting avocados: https://vimeo.com/chrisfruitnet/avocado_man