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Avocado Cartel

Mexican Avocado availability will be touch & go for the balance of August and most likely through September for the following reasons outlined below. Rumors are circulating that the drug cartel in Mexico is controlling avocado prices. Most likely it has very little to do with the drug cartel; however, they do eat a lot of avocados down there.

Our field department remains in constant negotiation with growers. Fruit prices both in the field, as well as at the border, including the forward ripening centers, are fluctuating daily. Keeping you supplied is a top priority of ours.

1.) This is a national challenge and similar to last year around this time. N

2.) Outages or shortages will most likely occur.

3.) We will most likely see this in the news pretty soon.

4.) Mexico has four blooms. The bloom we are currently in is the Flor Loca crop. This crop is much smaller not only in fruit size but overall tonnage. Severe weather has played a factor as well. Excessive rain and hail storms have affected an already short crop.

5.) The growing regions in Mexico are vast. Many of these are located in different mountainous elevations allowing for the fruit to be harvested at different stages throughout the growing season.

6.) The majority of the valley floor has been harvested. After harvesting in lower elevations has been completed, the natural progression is to harvest at higher levels. Heavy rains have prevented many from picking higher elevation fruit, for dry matter maturity testing indicates that fruit has yet to meet minimum maturity levels needed to allow for harvesting. Avocados act as a sponge. An avocado while on the tree will absorb vast amounts of water during wet conditions. Water from the ground is then transferred through the tree’s root system, passing through stems, injecting directly into the fruit itself. This influx of water dilutes the oil content that an individual piece of fruit possesses. This high percentage of water gives fruit a “fail” reading when tested.

7.) Grower’s who do have mature fruit ready for harvest are having their daily harvest capped by local permit offices. Government Grower Agencies are setting limits on daily harvesting.

8.) The United States is not the only market for Mexico. Mexico supplies the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. It’s worth mentioning that Mexico itself consumes more Avocados per capita than just about anywhere else.

Outlook: Markets will most likely remain turbulent for the next 30-60 days. The outcome will be dependent on how much fruit Packer’s will have access to on a daily/weekly basis.