Braulio Carbajal

La Jornada newspaper
Monday June 8, 2020, p. 22

The value of Mexican avocado exports continues to rise, official figures reveal. This, in a context in which shipments from Mexico to other nations have plummeted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a study by the Consultative Group of Agricultural Markets (GCMA), based on data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), between January and April, the value of avocado exports was 1,132 million dollars, 3.4 percent higher than one thousand 95 million in the same period of 2019.

This increase occurred despite the fact that the export volume of this fruit fell 11.8 percent in said period, going from 507 thousand to 448 thousand tons.

According to experts, although the quantity of product shipped from Mexico to other countries was lower, demand increased, as people made purchases for the new coronavirus, which caused the price to rise.

GCMA analysts indicate that during the first four months of the year the public price of avocado has risen around 18 percent, which has increased the income of producers by 22 percent.

The good international performance of avocado occurs in an adverse scenario for Mexican trade. According to Inegi data, between January and April 2020 the value of total exports reached 131 thousand 907 million dollars, an annual fall of 10.7 percent, reflecting a drop of 8.9 percent in non-oil shipments and 37 percent of the tankers.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the destination of 80 percent of Mexican exports, in the first four months of the year the value of goods shipped to that nation totaled 103 thousand 326 million dollars, an annual drop of 11.6 percent.

With an annual production of more than 2.3 billion dollars, Mexico alone dominates that market. Far away, with around 730 thousand tons, is the Netherlands, and further behind come Peru, 730 thousand; Spain, 340 thousand; Chile, 320 thousand, and the United States, approximately 180 thousand.

In Mexico, production is dominated by a single state: Michoacán, whose producers are responsible for 50 percent of the harvest of the so-called green gold.