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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Strong opening prices for SA avocados in EU

The first South African avocados have started arriving in Europe to find quite empty markets because recent floods have disrupted the Peruvian avocado industry, causing a delay in ripening and loading their fruit. “We normally receive good prices this time of the year due to an empty market. Because of the lack of supply from Peru, prices might even be higher than in previous years,” says Rouxan Jansen van Rensburg of Corefruit. Their first consignment of Fuerte and Maluma Hass arrived late last week in the EU. “At opening levels of €15 to €16 for 4kg Hass it looks very promising.” Richard Nhatarikwa of The Fruit Farm Group agrees that prices are strong; their first consignment, also Fuerte, arrived this week in Rotterdam. “Prices are better than last year, even though we were helped by the exchange rate last year. Our first consignment was five containers, each containing 20 pallets with 264 x 4kg cartons.” They will start sending Hass avocados this week, arriving from 15 packhouses in the Lowveld, South Africa’s foremost avocado production region. Last year the company marketed over 2 million 4kg cartons. The EU takes 99% of South Africa’s export avocados; the UK making up 20% of that figure. Avocado volumes are expected to be somewhat lower than last year; 50,000t versus 2016’s 54,000t. “Avocados are alternate bearing and this is an off year. Last year was an on year and volumes would’ve been greater if it hadn't been for the hail. However, orchard management techniques like correct pruning, irrigation and fertilisation reduce the fluctuations between alternate years. Also, there are new orchards coming into production this year, which further reduces the fluctuation,” explains Derek Donkin, Subtrop CEO. There will be an extra 1,000ha of avocados planted every year for the next few years. Currently, South African avocado production is made up of 60 to 62% Hass and Hass-type (like Maluma and GEM) avocados and 38 to 40% greenskinned varieties, like Fuerte and Pinkerton. “The export market prefers the darkskinned avocado, but there is a place for Greenskins as well. Local preference is the opposite but it is changing.

Source: Freshplaza