Avocado from Mexico exports will increase 3.54%
According to the agency's director, Armando Lopez, producers plan to send abroad up to 1'100,000 tons, 37,672 more than exported in the 2018-2019 season.
"This season that began (in July) we plan to send over 914,000 tons to the United States and some 188,000 to 200,000 to destinations other than Canada, Japan, and China," he explained in an interview with MILENIO.
During the last three years, export levels of avocado from Michoacan, the main producing state in the country, have shown an upward trend, not only in the United States, which is the most important market for the product but also in European countries.
In the 2017-2018 season, 869,057 tons were exported to the United States. A year later the figure rose to 914,530 tons sent to the U.S. market, in addition to 147,798 sent to other countries.
"There are places where even though we do not have promotion we are current, for example in Central America, Honduras, Salvador, Guatemala, and although we do not send much to Europe, we have a presence in important markets such as Holland, Spain, and France," explained Lopez.
The producer explained that from August comes the growing curve for exports, in addition to having enough space to have a quality product.
"Of course our surface area is quite large and we have a variety of land which contributes to the new harvest and does not lower levels".
Mexico seeks to break the record of avocado export to the United States
The Association of Producers and Packers Exporters of Avocado of Mexico (Apeam), placed the first stone of what will be the Casa del Aguacate or Casa Apeam where producers, members of the Mexican government, as well as the United States, will be concentrated to project the export sector.
In a statement, the agency said that the numbers of shipments avocado from Mexico to the United States, show an increase of 5.23 percent in the volume sent over last season, reflecting that there was enough fruit to supply this and other markets.
"Avocado from Mexico plans to send 1'42,501 tons of Mexican avocado to the U.S. for the 2019-2020 season, while to other markets the projection is 188,513 tons".
With the help of the Hass Avocado Importers Association of Mexico (MHAIA), APEAM has worked to increase consumption of Mexican avocado in the neighboring country and thus promote the welfare of producers and packers from Michoacan.
Since 1997, APEAM has been the only cooperating partner of the United States, through the Department of Agriculture of that country, for the export of Mexican avocado; "it has also been in charge over the years of promoting the fruit under the brand Avocados From Mexico, its marketing arm".
Jalisco, the 2nd national producer of avocado
Jalisco was ranked as the second national producer, having harvested 169 thousand 688 tons in 2017, according to the SIAP Agroalimentary Atlas 2018, while Michoacán remains the leading producer by contributing one million 477 thousand 263 tons.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa), through the Agri-Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), has included the entity, to update this pattern, with the purpose of continuing the work and responsibility in the definition of policies, programs and public incentives specialized in agricultural production.
Another fact to note is that avocado production in Jalisco grew 315 percent between 2012 and 2017, from 40 thousand 846 tons to 169 thousand, already mentioned, thus contributing to the important national production of this food for tables of Mexico and the world.
In the state there are 75 avocado municipalities; the main producer is Zapotlán El Grande with three thousand 489 hectares planted at the close of 2016, followed by San Gabriel with 2,661, then Gómez Farías with 1,661 and also Concepción de Buenos Aires with 1,459 thousand.
On Tuesday, the price of Mexican avocados rose by a third, the single-day increase in fruit in almost a decade, as businesses rushed to meet the huge US demand amid fears of a border closure.
The price of Hass avocados, a greasy variety of soft fruit grown in the state of Michoacán, in the western part of the country, rose to 390 pesos per 10 kilograms, the largest daily increase since a rebound of 48 percent in April 2009. This increase is a sign of the impact on food prices of Donald Trump's threats to close the border with Mexico, in an attempt to contain what the US president considers a flood of undocumented immigrants.
"Companies try to get as much avocado as possible for the US market before that happens," said David Magana, a senior analyst who covers the sector at Rabobank.
The popularity of avocado, which is used in salads, on toast and as a key ingredient in guacamole, skyrocketed in recent years, heralded by the nutritional benefits of its oil and preferred by its photogenic qualities in the photos that go up to Instagram. In July 2017, the price of Hass avocado from Mexico reached a maximum of 640 pesos per 10 kilograms.
Mexico supplied more than four out of five avocados that were consumed in the United States last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA, by its acronym in English). Michoacán is the largest producer of avocados worldwide, representing 92 percent of the production of this fruit in the country.
"This is not a normal situation," said Margana. "In the past we have seen that prices easily double to increase only because of weather disruptions or because of a strike in Mexico. What we see now is something that is totally new, so we do not know what can happen. We could easily see that the shelves are emptied if we close the border."
This week's price increase follows an annual spring price trend in which they increase considerably before the celebration of May 5, an annual celebration of Mexican culture that takes place in the United States and Mexico. For example, the price of fruit rose more than a fifth on April 13 last year, but Tuesday's increase was exacerbated by fears of a deeper shortage in supply in the coming months.
Avocados from California, Peru, and Chile also feed the US market, but together they represent less than 20 percent. The most recent rebound "is a perfect scenario of how politics can affect prices as well as climate," said Sara Menker, founder of the agricultural data group Gro Intelligence. "Politics can make you successful or you can fail."
How much avocado will Mexico send to the US for the Super Bowl?
The avocado industry in Mexico is celebrating its August during the Super Bowl, one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year both in the United States and in many parts of the world.
The "green gold" and its infinite possibilities of manifesting itself in cymbals become the protagonist of the tables gabachas and mexas; guacamole with tortilla chips, stuffed avocados, tacos with avocado, nachos with avocado, fried avocado, etc.
For the Mexican avocado industry, the weekend in which the Super Bowl takes place, scheduled for Sunday, February 3, is the most important time of the year, as it is when they export more avocados to the United States.
According to the Association of Producers and Packers Exporters of Avocado of Mexico (APEAM), this year they estimate to send around 120 thousand tons.
In fact, according to APEAM, the Michoacan avocado is the only one certified by the US authorities to be exported to the United States, whose market represents 85 percent of total exports.
So they are ready to supply the demand generated before, during and after the event, which will be played by the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, located in Atlanta, Georgia.
During the third week of January more than 1,300 trucks were sent per day, which is equivalent to the output of a truck every six minutes, while in the second week of the month the historical harvest and export figures were again broken: 39 thousand 307 tons harvested and 32 thousand 906 tons exported, revealed the Integral System of Avocado Harvest (SICOA).
For the week that is underway, one of the four most relevant before the Great Game, it is planned to leave approximately 216 shipments per day.
Where does the word avocado come from?
The word avocado comes from the Nahuatl ahuacatl, which means "testicles of the tree". The oldest vestiges of the avocado go back to a cave in Coxcatlán, located in the region of Tehuacán, Puebla, and date from 8,000 a.C. The avocado tree can reach 20 meters in height, but it is generally kept at less than five meters. Its scientific name is Persea americana and there are more than 90 species on the continent, distributed from central Mexico to Central America.
There are three avocado breeds: Mexicana, auácatl (P.a. var drymioflia); Guatemalan, Quilauácatl (P.a. guatemalensis var.), and Antillean tlacozalauácatl (P.a. American var.), which give rise to a large number of hybrids, among the best known are the Fort, Hass, Bacon, Pinkerton, Gwen, and Reed.
In Mexico, the presence of around 20 species of avocado is documented. Mexico is the world's leading producer of this fruit: 48.3 percent of the avocado consumed on the planet is Mexican.
Avocado is rich in proteins, lipids, and vitamins (particularly A), as well as potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. In addition to fresh fruits, frozen, dehydrated pulp and oil extracts are used for the cosmetic industry. The leaves, seeds, and bark are used as a medicinal remedy and in the production of dyes. The trees are part of the coffee and cocoa orchards and the backyards of the houses.