Early delays in shipping have not dampened optimism for the South African avocado season

The season’s first containers of South African avocados destined for the EU and the UK will be arriving in ports next week.

Generic Hass avocados Adobe

This is somewhat later than originally expected due to some delays with shipments from Cape Town’s container terminal.

However, avocado industry sources have said they are looking forward to a good season with total exports from South African ports expected to be around 20m cartons.

This will include around 18m cartons from South Africa and a further 2m from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, which will be shipped by South African exporters through the country.

The first fruit is expected to arrive in an empty market, according to Derek Donkin, CEO of Subtrop.

“The markets in Europe and the UK are generally empty and we expect a strong start to the season,” he said. ”Indications are that Peru’s season will also be later and there will be a smaller crop.

The season starts amidst optimism for increased exports to the East, with China and Japan having recently been opened for South African avocados.

Donkin noted that the registration of orchards and packhouses for shipment to China had been completed.

“It is now up to the Chinese authorities whether they want to arrange an official visit to these packhouses before exports can start.”

It was originally hoped that first shipments to China would take place in April, with first shipments of Hass to Japan schedule for the middle of the year.