Avocado prices could double again over summer as demand soars in China

Poor harvests and rocketing demand for the healthy green fruit have cause prices to rise 

Kashmira Gander
Saturday 13 May 2017 10:08 BST

The avocado - the staple fruit of hipsters and brunch-lovers - could be about to double in price, due to poor harvests and a spike in demand.

Since the start of the year, the wholesale price of a the green fruit has climbed by 50 per cent due to a late harvest in Mexico, and strikes by workers in the country which grows 70 per cent of the world’s avocados, according to the Mintec consultancy firm. Floods in Peru and a drought in California have also lead to a strain on supplies.

Now, the average UK retail price of an avocado is currently £1.05, up from 98p last year, according to Press Association.

Meanwhile, as China - and its huge consumer market - has become an important trade partner for Mexico, exports of avocados, as well as Tequila, have risen.

To top it all, avocados are experiencing a “down year” in 2017, which alternate annually.

Roland Fumasi, senior produce analyst for Rabobank in California told The Guardian of fears that the prices of the fruit in Mexico could double again over the summer. He explained that although the UK imports avocados from countries other than Mexico, suppliers elsewhere are having to plug the gap.

This blow for avocado fans follows the so-called “lettuce shortage” earlier in the year, when UK supermarkets began rationing vegetables including lettuce, courgettes and aubergines after floods and storms destroyed crops in southern Europe.

However, Morrisons is attempting to get around the by shortage by selling misshapen and superficially blemished fruit for 39p a kg, which tastes the same as a regular avocado.

James Turner, avocado buyer at Morrisons, said: “Avocados have become one of Britain's most expensive salad items. But our new Wonky line means customers will be able to buy this luxury item for a fraction of the price.

"Apart from being odd shapes and sizes, and with some marks on the outer hard skin, they're the same as normal avocados. They taste great and have the same levels of healthy nutritional ingredients."

Demand for the fruit has been growing worldwide in recent years, because of its high levels of Vitamin E, iron, potassium and niacin making it a favourite for fitness gurus and the health conscious.

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