Colombia exported US$32m of Hass avocados in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 45 per cent on the US$22m shipped during the same period last year.
Jorge Restrepo, director of the Hass Avocado Producers and Exporters Corporation of Colombia (Corpohass), told Caracol Radio that high demand on the international market was fuelling the country’s avocado boom.
In 2015 the country shipped US$10.28m worth of the fruit but even the most conservative estimates suggest that exports will break through the US$100m barrier in 2019.
“The world’s biggest avocado consuming markets are showing a growing interest in Colombia as our reputation as a reliable supplier continues to grow,” Restrepo said.
While Europe remains Colombia’s main export market, the sector also made significant progress in consolidating its presence in the US last year.
2018 was also the year in which Colombia secured access to the Argentine market and carried out its first shipments to Saudi Arabia, having sent its first avocados to the UAE a year earlier.
Last week, Valle del Cauca-based Pacific Fruits announced that the inaugural shipment of Colombian avocados was on its way to Kuwait.
“This makes three markets in the Middle East that we have opened up,” said the company’s commercial director Rodolfo Ahumada.
“We pride ourselves on being a pioneer in Colombian avocado exports focused on ensuring we comply with the standards of even the strictest international markets.”