World avocado production and trade is galloping along but New Zealand’s participation is faltering under headwinds in orchards and on board reefer ships, Rabobank analysts say.
Under the heading Global Avocado Growth Far From Over, RaboResearch fresh produce analysts say industry growth worldwide in the past decade has been 7% annually, compounded.
Global trade will continue at that pace but the market will become more competitive, driving operators to be not only more efficient but also increasingly sustainable.
The big industry report follows closely behind the 10th World Avocado Congress held in NZ in early April.
Rabobank says Mexico is the largest producer, with 30% of global output, and that Colombia, Peru and Kenya expanded by 11-15% compounded annual rates of growth (cagr) during the past decade.
Much of Mexico’s output goes to the United States, whose own production is no longer within the global top 10.
Mexico exported over 1 million metric tonnes in 2022 from its production of 2.5 million tonnes.
Marketing campaigns by importers and the Hass Avocado Board based in California have helped US consumption grow by 8% cagr. It imported 1.1 million tonnes in 2022.
Producers such as Peru, Spain and Kenya export mainly to Europe, where the biggest importing countries are the Netherlands, France and Spain.
According to the report, the global commercial market value of fresh avocados is estimated to be around $US18 billion ($28bn) in 2022.
“We believe there is room for significant growth in several markets around the world, as per capita consumption is highly variable,” the report says.
Mexico leads with a global record of about 9kg of fresh avocados per person per year, followed by Chile with almost 8kg.
Australia and the US complete the list of countries with over 4kg per capita.
In NZ, export volume dropped 20% in 2022, due to sufficient supply in Australia, reduced demand in Asia and lower fruit yields.
The 2023 season is muted by La Niña wet weather events, poor pollination and higher-than-normal rejection.
Rabobank associate analyst Pia Piggott said a bumper harvest is expected in 2024 and the production growth projections mean that rebuilding market share in Asia will be a priority.