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Peru expects to harvest larger and higher quality avocados 

Perú espera cosechar aguacates más grandes y de mayor calidad

Peru is in the midst of its avocado export season, which goes from May to August, and so far in 2024, has shipped almost half of the total volume exported in 2023.

Juan Carlos Paredes, president of ProHass, told that they still have a 16% drop in exports projected for the season.

The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

To date, how much has been produced?

We will see significant changes in the following days regarding projections when we have updated information on the fruit that remained on the trees, waiting to grow, which apparently in most cases, has not given the expected growth result and the fields are already being harvested. So, it is difficult to know now if the 16% drop will remain or, as everything indicates, it will drop been more.

Which producing zones have opted to wait for the fruit to grow more?

It is mainly the northern zone, which represents approximately 50% of the Peruvian campaign. Cities especially like Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Lambayeque have been waiting to see how the fruit grows. Now the fruit has reached maturity, with 23% to 24% dry matter, and growers are harvesting. In the meantime, the market has been reacting, because it was waiting for more fruit, expecting prices to fall, but on the contrary, they have been recovering. In addition, larger sizes are still in short supply, not only in Peru, but also in Mexico, Colombia, South Africa, and Peru.

What is the total volume exported at the time?

As of week 21, 43% of the expected volume has been exported, representing 9,593 out of a total of 22,000 containers last season.

What is the analysis of the quality and condition of the fruit to date?

Compared to last year, we have better quality and faster ripening. Up to week 21, there have been no major reports of quality problems. There are good reports of how the fruit is arriving, considering that there has also been a lot of fruit coming from other exporters that are small producers, which generated some risk and concern, but there have been no arrival problems. We hope that this situation will continue with the arrival of the season from the coast of Peru, which are larger exporters.

What have been the main destination markets to date?

Up to week 21, including all destinations, we have an accumulated drop of 10% in export volumes. We have shipped 5,920 containers to Europe, 15% less than last year. To the United States we are still not sending much fruit until this week, but last year we sent 462 containers, and this year we are going to send 549, 19% more. In Chile, which is a very important market, we went from 1,193 containers in 2023 to 1,415 this year up to week 21, almost 20% more.

What is the analysis regarding prices?

The trend to date has been that the price is higher than last year. What has varied significantly, as I was saying at the beginning, is the sizes; this year we have smaller sizes, which are usually worth less. However, this year there has not been such a depreciation in their value.

What have been the main commercial and production challenges for the industry this season?

The sector is coming from two complicated years due to the weather and the challenge this year was to face the El Niño phenomenon, which luckily was not as strong as expected. However, there were still damaging climatic conditions, especially when the trees needed to rest in the last quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024.

That led to smaller fruit sizes this year, and now the concern is 2025, considering some fields are already closing and the harvests are advancing. We have to observe the trees remain. If the tree reserves have turned out well, it would be great, but if not, we have to start working in the fields and begin to strengthen the tree for what should be a very good 2025 season.”

“From a commercial perspective, it has been the lack of predictability, not knowing what was going to be harvested, the calibers, because it was very complex to know how much the fruit was going to grow each week. And that has meant that many times we have had to keep our importers with that uncertainty, not being able to confirm the programs.”

When do you project the end of the season?

This year we project that the curve will start to fall in week 31, with volumes of approximately 800 containers. The end of the season should officially be in week 40.

On November 21, the Global Avocado Summit organized by the Chilean Avocado Committee and Yentzen Group will be held at the Casino Monticello event center in Chile.

Fuente: Information based on report