New Zealand Avocados: Growers Face Tough Season as Exports Hit Record Lows

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog29-01-2024

new zealand avocado export,new zealand fruit export,avocado export

The current New Zealand Hass avocado season will be one growers will want to forget.

Fruit exports are at an all-time low, down more than a million tons so far, and many orchards are still recovering after three seasons of bad weather.

Brad Siebert, chief executive of the New Zealand Avocado Industry Organization, said quality issues had led to an oversupply of low-grade fruit on the domestic market, depressing prices.

"We're coming to the end of a pretty tough export season for all concerned, particularly growers," he said.

"It's been a perfect storm, with avocados being grown all over the world and increased competition in our export markets, and the result is lower returns for growers and higher prices for orchard inputs."

With the export season just weeks away, he said, exports are well below expectations.

"We're forecasting about 4.4 million tons of seasonal production for the industry as a whole. We have about 1.4 million tons of export flows planned.

"If you look at the 2.6 million tons from previous years, we're well down on 1 million tons of exports. Obviously, sales are up again in the New Zealand market."

Competition from Australia has also increased this season as it enters key markets such as India, but fortunately New Zealand is bringing fruit into Canada and back to the United States for the first time this season, Sibert said.

He said this time last year the average retail price in the domestic market was $2.48 per avocado, but now the average retail price is $1.75.

He says it's tough for the country's more than 1,038 growers, who are already under tremendous pressure after a couple of tough seasons and in the face of rising costs for inputs such as fuel, agrochemicals, labor and other services.

But Siebert says the organization is looking ahead to next season, with much larger yields expected once harvest begins in July.

The value of the export crop has fluctuated in recent years, peaking at $167 million in the 2020/2021 season but falling by more than half to $61 million last season, according to the New Zealand Avocado Association's annual report.

The value of the domestic crop last season was nearly $56 million.

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