Skip to main content

California avocados: Cautious optimism ahead of 2021 season


Overview of the avocado season from California, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.


Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on December 09, 2020 

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) is tentatively optimistic about the 2021 season, predicting an average-sized crop but also potential weather and market challenges

According to CAC President Tom Bellamore, the upcoming season is expected to pull in 325 million lbs, a decrease from the previous year’s 365 million lbs.

Volumes (in LB) of avocados from California in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Despite the good volumes, however, 2020’s avocado season was fraught with difficulties due to the global pandemic and other factors. Still, according to Bellamore, it was better than expected for some growers.

“With respect to the year we're just finishing, given the circumstances I think the season went relatively well,” he told FreshFruitPortal.com.

“For each grower, it depended on when they harvested their production and when they came on the market. So for example, in the early part of the season, the very early part, February of 2020, the market was strong, the pricing was good."

But he added that the same could not be said for the mid to late season. Covid-19 caused months of disruption in the marketplace among trade customers. Even when things finally began to stabilize there was more fruit in the market from import sources such as Peru and Mexico.

Origins of avocados import in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Now moving into 2021, the crop projection is of a reasonable size that should be easy to market. However, Bellamore said there is still reason for caution for the California avocado industry.

One potential issue for growers could be a lack of rainfall. Weather predictions for the region north to south are dryer this year and winter rains are typically depended on to keep trees robust.

Additionally, the obstacle of Covid-19 remains, especially with cases currently surging in the U.S. But Bellamore is hopeful that, once a vaccine is made available and distributed, conditions can begin to return to normal.

“I think what our expectation is, for the first quarter or two of 2021, it's going to continue to be difficult for restaurants and retailers are certainly seeing strong demand as the foodservice restaurant business shifts to [consumers] eating at home,” he said. “The retail sector stayed strong, but even there, there's uncertainty."

Still, a California avocado crop of 325 million pounds next season would mean fewer concerns about the quality of the fruit and its freshness.

Bellamore stated that a crop of this size will likely be delivered primarily into the western U.S. There, high-quality fruit can be delivered fresh, a good sign if other market factors are returning to normal.

“I guess we're optimistic about how next year could go,” Bellamore said. “We are a little worried about the overall volume in the marketplace from all sources, but hopefully, people pay attention to that and are disciplined in the market.”

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

Access the original article with this (Link)

Popular posts from this blog

Agronometrics in Charts: Demand for berries skyrockets in 2021

This time for the ‘In Charts’ series we will give an update as to how the average prices of berries have been behaving. Specifically, we will look at the prices of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries in the United States market and compare them with previous seasons. An increase in demand, brought on by the tendency to consume “superfoods” such as berries during the Covid-19 pandemic, seem to have pushed prices up despite the fact that volumes imported by the United States have been similar or higher than those of previous years. Let's look at each particular case: Blueberries Blueberry prices experienced a significant increase from week 3 of 2021, showing the highest prices of the last 5 seasons for the same date. If we observe the following chart, we can see that, for week 7 of 2021, the average price of conventional blueberries was $7.60 per kilo. This is 24 percent higher than in 2020 when the average price was $6.14 per kilo. Volumes for blueberr

Peru's blueberry oversupply takes its toll on export price

Overview of the Peruvian blueberry season, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.   Original published in FreshPlaza.com   on November 25, 2020  This year's Peruvian blueberry season began in June with the export of 1,010 tons worth 5 million dollars. These figures represented a 25% increase in volume and a 77% increase in value over the same month of 2019. The lower production in the northern hemisphere due to weather problems allowed producers to achieve attractive prices of $ 5.15 per kilogram in June. Volume (in Kg) of blueberry from Perú in the US market Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics . (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here ) The good reception of Peruvian blueberries and the increase in prices encouraged exports during July, a month in which the country shipped 4,808 tons (+ 108%) for 26 million dollars (+ 102%). In this month, the increase in the Peruvian supply generated a slight 3% fall in the typical prices of the month,

Tight raspberry volumes make for more “normal” pricing

Overview of the raspberry supply by Ben Escoe of Twin River Berries, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published in FreshPlaza.com   on May 12, 2021  “They’re starting to pick up, but it’s been tight--really tight,” says Ben Escoe of Twin River Berries in Portland, OR, noting this largely has to do with the weather conditions in Mexico. “It’s been cold and windy there which has caused damage in the fields and contributed to the low supply. Year over year, the volume is comparable or even better. But demand is high and forecast to actual supply has been lower.” Mexico grows raspberries for most of the year, stopping only for the rainy season which begins at the end of June or early July. Meanwhile California’s volume won’t really begin until the middle to the end of May. Volumes (in Kg) of raspberries from Mexico in the US Market​ Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics . (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here ) Higher berry deman