Avocado prices finally climbing
Lately there has been an abundance of avocados at low prices on the market, but in recent weeks prices have started climbing (Fresh Plaza, 27 August). “Demand is rising, and the supply is decreasing a little. We’re back to a normal level for this time of year again,” says Ive Lambert of Starfruit, in Belgium. “This summer wasn’t the best for avocados. We’ve never experienced that. In recent years, demand was always higher than supply. Even new plantations couldn’t keep up with demand and the market’s growth. This expansion has now leveled off. But I think the Hass avocado market will continue growing. Just a little slower. That’s been the case with blueberries and pomegranates. Every product has a ceiling.” Currently, Peru and South Africa are the main players on the market, supplemented by Colombia. The Mexican season is slowing getting started. “There are some Kenyan avocados on the market too. This is, however, not a favorite Hass country of origin. Avocados from Kenya don’t have great dry matter and oil content. So, the typical avocado flavour doesn’t come to the fore so well,” Ive concludes.
Also commenting on the avocado market, Gérard Lliso, President of Select Agrumes based at the Rungis MIN, said “I had never experienced a situation like the one we had during the period from June to mid-July […] The closure of the American market due to the health crisis has led to a real oversupply of the European market. Supply was far too great in relation to demand, and as a result prices had fallen sharply, sometimes to below €5/package, a particularly low price for this exotic product. This year has been very complicated for Peru, which despite having a good production” (Fresh Plaza, 14 August). “Now the situation is much better. Having been forced to sell below cost price, the Peruvians had stopped sending goods to Europe in July. It still took three weeks for the market to clean up because many containers were still floating. But then, with supply decreasing and the US having started buying Peruvian avocados again last month, prices have been gradually rising since mid-July to reach the current €10/€11 per package.”
Global potato market
Fresh Plaza (28 August) gives an overview of the global potato market. In Europe, the heat caused a decrease in consumption of potatoes, and also in the regrowth of new potatoes in the field. At the moment this is resulting in difficult market conditions. Coronavirus has also had a major impact on the market, especially on the processing industry, which is not yet running at full speed. However, this doesn’t apply to all markets. Switzerland has seen record sales; the potato acreage and prices are also on the rise in China; and the South African potato sector is currently enjoying very good prices, higher than 60 ZAR (€3) per 10 kg per bag due to the low volumes available on the market.