Peruvian avocado exports to U.S. could double

Peruvian avocado shipments to the U.S. could double in 2014.

Peruvian grower-shippers shipped about 50 million pounds of fruit to the U.S. in 2013, and the industry has a goal of 100 million pounds this year, said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board.

That’s similar to numbers Doug Meyer, treasurer of the Peruvian Avocado Commission and vice president of West Pak Avocado Inc., Murrieta, Calif., has heard discussed.

With growing volumes from Mexico, combined with California and Chile’s presence, more avocados continue to ship in the U.S.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t ample room for growth from Peru, which was granted access to the U.S. in 2010, Escobedo and Meyer said.

“It’s not like they’re coming into an oversupplied market,” Meyer said. “There is a fit for Peru, and we’re optimistic about the future. They’re coming in to help meet demand.”

Peruvian avocados peak in the summer, when California is also at its height. With California grower-shippers projecting lower volumes this season, Peru will help meet demand, Escobedo said.

“Demand in the U.S. is growing consistently,” he said. “As long as the quality (of Peruvian fruit) is good, I think it will be a good thing.”

Peru’s 2013 exports to the U.S. were worth about $44 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Peru shipped about 15,860 metric tons worth $32 million to the U.S. in 2012; and about 9,157 metric tons worth $28 million in 2011, according to FAS.

New areas of Peru open for export

Peru’s National Agricultural Health Service (Senasa) has approved two new northern regions for exporting hass avocados to the U.S.

Lambayeque and Piura have joined the list of regions approved for exports to the U.S., which currently includes La Libertad, Ancash, Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Apurímac, Moquegua, Tacna and Anta, said Arturo Castro of Lima, Peru-based ProHass, an industry group.

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