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Agronometrics in Charts: Current scenario for Chilean avocados in the U.S.

Exports of Chilean avocados in 2019 reached their highest level in the last 10 years. The opening of new markets, like South Korea, along with the increase to other destinations like Japan, China and some European countries, has been the main been the main driven of this rise. However, the U.S. market tells a very different story, with Chilean avcoado volumes at their lowest level in recent years.

An interesting aspect has been the flexibility of Chile to change markets when the U.S. prices are low. That speaks to the resilience of the country as a produce and the ability to supply the U.S. in the future, if that is required.

Looking at the numbers, 2020 saw the lowest volumes from Chile in recent years in the U.S. market, with the South American country exporting 93 percent less than in the previous year. Supplies are concentrated from weeks 37 to 44, as can be seen in the chart below.

Historical volume of Chilean avocados in the U.S. market (KG)
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The current U.S. avocado market is dominated by volumes from Mexico, with other supplies from California, Peru, and Colombia.

Volumes of avocados in the U.S. market (KG)
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

It's interesting to note how Chile has been declining while Peru has been rising, as can be seen below. This is due to a production advantage. Chile comes in at the same time as Mexico, while Peru comes in with California, and therefore better prices.

Historical volumes of avocados from Chile and Peru in the U.S.
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In terms of prices, we can see that they have remained largely stable over the years, despite the sustained increase in volume since 2020.

Historical prices (USD/KG) and volume (KG) of avocados in the U.S. market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

For now, the U.S. market doesn't appear to be the most attractive for Chilean exports, but Chile has the capacity to produce and send large volumes to the U.S. market if conditions allow. In the end, the market will have the final say.

Written by: Cristian Crespo F.
Original published in on March 23, 2021 (Link)


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