Mexico Holds Monopoly on Avocado Supply to the US

Mexico Holds Monopoly on Avocado Supply to the US

The year 2022 marked a significant increase in avocado exports to the United States from nations such as Peru, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Chile. Despite the fact that their export numbers were significantly less than that of Mexico, these countries were gradually making their mark in a market that is worth 3 billion dollars annually. However, as per the official US figures in 2023, these countries failed to maintain their growth, whereas Mexican exporters experienced an upsurge.

Looking back at the start of the last decade, which marked the beginning of the avocado boom, data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that Mexico was the dominant exporter, contributing to 90 percent of the purchases of this fruit, while the remaining 10 percent was supplied by other countries with lower production.

However, in 2022, Mexico’s dominance in the market reduced to 84 percent. This was a result of the acceleration of other Latin American countries who, with greater exports, managed to secure a 16 percent share in the US market.

This seemed to suggest a potential increase in competition in the region. However, by 2023, Mexico regained its position by supplying 90 percent of the avocados as per the USDA data.

According to the figures from the organization, the United States imported a total of one million 261 thousand tons of avocado in 2023. Out of this, one million 124 thousand tons were exported from Mexico, while the remaining 137 thousand tons were supplied by Peru, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Chile.

Interestingly, the data reveals that the volume of sales from Mexico to the US saw an annual increase of 18 percent in 2023. In stark contrast, the sales from the aforementioned four countries in the region experienced a dip of 26 percent. This was after these countries had seen a growth of 45 percent in the previous year.

The case of Peru in 2022 deserves special mention. The export of avocados from Peru to the US saw an increase from 84,529 tons in 2021 to 122,312 tons in 2022, marking a growth of 45 percent. However, by 2023, there was a decrease to 74,737 tons, indicating a fall of 39 percent.

Of all these countries, the Dominican Republic was the only one to see an increase in exports in 2023, from 37,265 tons in 2022 to 44,233 tons. In contrast, Colombia’s exports dropped from 19,249 to 13,646 tons and those of Chile decreased from 7,424 to a mere 4,869 tons.

In 2023, three other countries – New Zealand, Mongolia, and Jamaica – also exported avocados to the US, albeit in insignificant quantities: New Zealand with 17 thousand tons, Mongolia with 4 thousand tons, and Jamaica with 500 tons respectively.

According to the USDA data from the previous year, the avocado export market to the US was valued at 2,980 million dollars. Of this, Mexico retained 2,724 million dollars, accounting for a whopping 91 percent of the total value.