Mexican avocado producers look beyond US to expand exports
The Mexican state of Michoacán has become the most important producer of avocados in Mexico.
“The export sales of oil and its derivatives during 2016 left Mexico with a deficit of $13.1 billion US dollars, while the sales of avocado reported an increase of $2.2 billion US dollars”, announced the System of Tariff Information Via Internet (Sistema de Informacion Comercial Via Internet: SIAVI), a department of the Ministry of Economy (SE).
For this reason, producers are not afraid of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); since Japan, China, Canada and the European Union could represent new open markets for their product.
“We are open to sell to other countries. We visited the Arabian Peninsula a couple of months ago, and there is a demanding market for this fruit there. Nevertheless, due to the distance, we will need to send them by air, since it takes more than 40 days by boat and this is a highly perishable product, “said Juan Carlos Grayeb, producer.
Heriberto Becerra, chief operating officer for the company Empaque RV (Ramon Valencia), located in Uruapan, Michoacán, said that so far this year, they have sent about 15 shipments of 20 tons each to Europe, so it is expected that this amount will increase: “We are working to satisfy the European market, and the excellent quality of our product is opening doors in that market, ” he said.
“Meanwhile, Mexico’s Association of Producers and Exporters of Avocado (Asociación de Productores, Exportadores y Empacadores de Aguactate de México: APEAM), estimates to export more than 900 thousand tons to the USA, in between June 2016 and July 2017 ; 52 thousand tons to Japan; and 20 thousand tons to China,” Heriberto Becerra said.
It should be noted that last year, sales of this product increased significantly in Asia and Europe, where Germany and Holland recorded the highest exports increase, with 237 and 283 percent, respectively.
But even when the exports to other countries are constantly on the rise, the United States is stil the biggest and most important market for Mexican avocado.