It appears that harvesting will resume by next Monday Oct 17. For the last two weeks growers have stopped any avocado trucks moving from the field to packing houses, and offices of Sanidad de Vegetal, the Mexican phyto issuing offices, were forcibly closed.
The aventajada flower was predicted to be a short crop, (due to Hurricane Patricia which slammed through Michoacan just prior to the 2015 PMA). Last year the crazy flower crop was huge, and prices were at the bottom for most of the season, until May, when, to the surprise of APEAM and all the industry, the crop was short and prices tripled in four short weeks.
Growers sold all year for prices as low as 16 pesos, then, by the summer they were able to sell for 60 pesos for a time. At present, the price is 58 pesos. The growers number over 20,000, each having an average acreage of 20 hectares.
Growers in four of the 28 municipalities are especially militant. Each municipality has a Junta Locale and newly elected grower representatives are using the aventajada short crop to negotiate with packing houses. The Junta’s function is to provide growers assistance in all matters of avocado cultivation and to control the harvest.
Some of their proposals are:
- a set price for all season (Tancitaro growers proposed 80 pesos per kg)
- payment in USD rather than pesos
- participation in the benefits of the .68 per box importation assessment
- greater transparency and reliability in crop estimations
- a better price for avocado cutters.
Many of these issues are still on the table. As the temporada crop approaches, growers will be forced to cut and the law of supply and demand will prevail.
For the month of October, most growers can hold their fruit, thus crossings will be less than demand. As soon as the peso price slips, the Junta Locales will limit their harvest. Overall, the crop this year is projected to be slightly less than the previous year, which was 1.875 billion lbs. Prices will have to fall in November when Mexico’s volume approaches the market demand of 40-45 million lbs per week.
Regarding the growth of supply in Michoacan, we won’t see the big increases as we have in the last several years. Most of Mexico’s orchards have already been certified for export to the USA. Until 2015 each season saw a 10% increase in acreage. New land for planting is in short supply.
Avocados from Jalisco state are expected to add only 8% to the Michoacan crop and although permission to export has been granted by USDA, the packing houses are not yet ready. Overall, we expect to see higher prices and more frequent price swings as growers are highly organized and have sold their crop at extremely high prices compared to past years.
Healthy Avocado has 14 years experience in the avocado industry. We offer great quality and competitive prices and seek new customers to leverage our strong support from our long time association with packing houses in Michoacan.