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Has Avocado turned to gold?

Has Avocado turned to gold?

Australians love their avocados. Last year the per capita consumption reached 3.27kg per person, which is amongst the highest avocado consumption levels in the English-speaking world! Avocados are grown in every state in Australia except Tasmania, but there has recently been a drop in supply which led to avocados selling at almost $4.00 per fruit in WA. In September the price was only $2 each!

The reason for this sudden drop in demand is the combination of WA avocado trees running out of fruit this time of the year and a weak crop from our main supplier in New Zealand’s stunning Bay of Plenty region that usually fill the gap. Luckily the avocado producers in the tropical Atherton Tablelands of northern Queensland will soon be sending their delicious produce.

Avocados has been labelled a superfood as it is not only rich in vitamin C, but also in antioxidants and folate. Smashed avo on sourdough toast is a popular choice for brunch in WA, adding to the demand of 1500 tons per week. WA production is currently 1000 tons per week.

Queensland is by far the largest producer of Avocados in Australia (at 69%) followed by WA (18%). According to Avocados Australia, the country produced almost 66 000 tons of avocados in 20106/17. The gross value of production for Australian avocados was estimated at $398 million. John Tyas, chief executive of Avocados Australia, expects that the country will produce 100 000 tons by 2025.

Mexico is the world’s largest exporter of avocado, and produces 1.8 million tonnes per year. Australia is a minor player in the world market for avocados. It exported 2 300 tonnes mainly to Malaysia and Singapore in 2016/17.

The industry expects production will reach 100,000 tonnes by 2025.

But if you think that’s impressive, just bear in mind that Mexico, the world’s biggest avocado exporter, is expected to produce 1.8 million tonnes of hass avocados this year.

Mexico, incidentally, is one of the signatories to the Trans Pacific Partnership, which we learnt this week is set to be signed in March.

This will likely give low-cost Mexican avocado growers easier access to the Australian market, which could protect against future summer price spikes – good news for consumers, if not for Aussie growers.

 

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