Avocado prices surge to a record
That bowl of guacamole on Cinco de Mayo will be more expensive this year, as avocado prices rise to a record on surging demand and a smaller crop in Mexico and California.
A 10-kilogram box of Hass avocados from the state of Michoacan, Mexico’s biggest producer, cost 530 pesos (about C$38) Thursday, according to the government. The price, which is subject to seasonal swings, is more than double what it was a year earlier and the highest in data going back 19 years.
High avocado prices will be felt by consumers who choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a bowl of quacamole. The fruit’s cost has raised to US$1.27 each this April from 98 cents last year.
The jump in demand in recent years has been dramatic. American per-capita consumption was 6.9 pounds in 2015, versus 3.5 pounds in 2006, according to the U.S. government. People are being drawn to the fruit not just for its taste but also for its healthy oils and fats, a trend borne out in the United States by Starbucks Corp.’s announcement last month it’s selling avocado sandwich spread.
“You have increased consumption in China and other areas of the world, like Europe,” said Roland Fumasi, an analyst at Rabobank in Fresno, Calif. “They’re pulling a lot more of the Mexican crop, so there’s less available for the U.S.”
Mexico supplies 82 per cent of the avocados eaten in the U.S. Its shipments into the U.S. surged to 1.76 billion pounds in 2015 from just 24 million pounds in 2000, according to data from the Hass Avocado Board in Mission Viejo, Calif.
— Bloomberg News