Production of Australian avocados continues to grow, keeping prices low, according to Rabobank

June 25, 2024

Australia’s avocado industry is grappling with another year of increased production and low prices, according to the latest report by Rabobank.

However, the world’s growing appetite for avocados was offering growers some relief, with increasing export demand for Australia’s produce.

The “Global Avocado Update 2024” report said production forecasts for the financial year 2023-24 Australian avocado crop were up by 20 per cent year-on-year to a record 139,000 metric tonnes.

The growth had been driven by more than 1500ha of avocado planting expected to reach maturity this year, bringing extra supply to the market, according to report co-author Pia Piggott.

“And expansion in Australian avocado production is set to continue with more than 4000ha of orchards maturing in the next five years,” Ms Piggott said.

But while demand for avocados among Australian consumers continued to grow, the local market remained oversupplied, with prices languishing at low levels.

Rising export demand was offering the biggest market growth opportunity.

Ms Piggott said the export market accounted for 13 per cent of Australia’s total avocado production, with exports rising 55 per cent.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia remained key markets, but there had also been significant growth in volumes to Japan (up 193 per cent) and “the rest of the world” (up 621 per cent).

However, export prices, on average, had declined by 9 per cent in 2023 to $4.59/kg.

“New market access to Thailand and India will help diversify exports,” Ms Piggott said.

“However, this will unlikely be enough to keep prices from a downward path.”

Australian retail prices remained about the same as this time last year.

“However in the past year, there has been a lot of volatility in avocado prices, reflecting periods of fluctuating seasonal supply,” Ms Piggott said.

She said the bank expected avocado prices would remain volatile “and we may see some increase in prices in the summer months as Western Australian avocado production is in an ‘off year’, with crops bearing less fruit”.

“But after this, supplies will again start to increase and prices are expected to decline,” she said.

Mexico remains the world’s largest avocado exporter and is likely to surpass 1.5 million metric tons in coming years.

Peru is projected to approach 650,000 metric tons by 2026.


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