Avocados are in short supply in New Zealand following last year’s bumper crop and a cold spring that have seen export volumes drop by 40 per cent.
The smaller volume of avocados has seen prices jump on the domestic market, though despite the increase in price, avocados are reportedly still selling fast due to growing demand.
Figures released by industry body New Zealand Avocado state that 90,000 more New Zealand households are buying avocados than in previous seasons. In 2014/15 New Zealanders bought avocados 5.5 times, up from 4.8 times in 2013/14.
“We have had a moderate crop volume wise, with about 1.2m trays on the domestic market, and we have been working hard to push the health message around avocados,” Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado said. “We’re also seeing a lot of social media pushing avocados, from foodies to nutritionists, which is all increasing demand.”
In terms of exports, industry projections put the total export crop at an estimated 2.5m 5.5kg trays.
“With just a couple of weeks of harvest and packing to go, it looks like the final New Zealand export crop will pull up around 2.5m trays, 2m down on last season’s record crop,” Steve Trickett, MD of Global Fresh NZ and Just Avocados told Fruitnet.
Trickett said 2016’s harvest would like begin in July and run through March 2017, with early forecasts putting New Zealand on track for another record season, likely to sit between 4.5m and 5.2m trays.
About 80 per cent of New Zealand’s avocado exports head to Australia, with the remaining 20 per cent export to Japan, Singapore, Korea, Thailand And Malaysia with a small volume heading to India, Taiwan, and Indonesia.