SOUTH AFRICA – In the ever-evolving avocado market, the current landscape has taken an unexpected turn, presenting South Africa with a unique opportunity to make significant strides.

François Bellivier, the development manager of Capexo, sheds light on the prevailing market conditions, emphasizing the impact of reduced avocado volumes from Peru.

François Bellivier notes, “The current avocado market is very well oriented, with prices reaching record levels—2-3 € (USD2.76 – 4.14) higher on average compared to the same period last year. We’re witnessing prices at 14-15 € (USD 15.34 – 16.42) per avocado parcel on the Hass Vert market, a notable increase from last year’s 12 € (USD 13.12).”

The decrease in Peruvian production plays a pivotal role in the ongoing favorable market conditions. Bellivier anticipates this positive trend to persist for the next few weeks, suggesting a potential tight supply.

He states, “It will probably be a little tight in terms of supply for the next two months, keeping prices at these elevated levels.”

The dip in Peruvian production is attributed to factors like El Niño, resulting in a 20-30% reduction in production and a 3–4-week delay in the start of the season.

As summer approaches, doubts arise regarding the peak in production, with indications pointing towards reduced supply.

Bellivier highlights several factors contributing to the potential shortage, including limited large calibers from Peru, altered shipping routes due to Red Sea tensions affecting Kenya and Tanzania, and a prolonged transit time of 10 to 12 days for goods reaching Europe, potentially impacting avocado quality.

Amidst these challenges, a unique variable comes into play—the Olympic Games in France this summer. Bellivier speculates an unprecedented over-consumption of avocados during the Games, presenting a substantial opportunity for avocado-producing nations.

With the drop in Peruvian supply, potential quality issues in Kenyan and Tanzanian avocados, and the surge in demand driven by the Olympics, South Africa emerges as a significant contender.

Bellivier asserts, “Volumes from South Africa should increase by 10 to 12% this year, with limited large sizes at the beginning of the season leading to higher prices.”

“The upcoming summer presents a favorable opportunity for South Africa to penetrate the French market at very competitive prices.”

As the global avocado market navigates through uncertainties, South Africa stands poised to capitalize on the unique set of circumstances, potentially reshaping its position in the industry.

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