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Why Can’t Mexico Send Us Enough Avocados?

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Did you know that Mexico sends us 82 percent of the avocados we eat?

So let’s say you enjoy an avocado toast for breakfast and another one for lunch in your smoothie and another one for dinner in your salad – two out of those three avocados are from Mexico.

And right now Mexico doesn’t appear able to meet the demand for avocados and prices are soaring.

Specifically Michoacan can’t seem to keep up. The Mexican state accounts for nearly 80 percent of the 3 billion pounds of avocados that get exported, nearly 2 billion are destined for U.S. consumers. Avocados are over a $1 billion per year industry for Mexico. In 2006 the U.S. consumption of avocados was 3.5 pounds in 2015 it was doubled at 6.9 pounds.

According to the Hass Avocado Board, at the beginning of the year average sales price for an avocado was 89 cents, two months later it was pegged at $1.25. The price for a case of avocados is at levels not seen in three decades.

Though California produces the most avocados state-side it is a difficult business to scale due to water-shortage issues and the state’s regulatory environment.

What’s to blame for the shortages in Mexico resulting in record prices.

Let’s start with the surging demand in the U.S. due to avocado’s versatility as a fruit and its super fruit health benefits. American can’t seem to get enough of it. Then there is the diminished crop this year due to the cyclical nature of the avocado’s growth. Last year Mexico had a growers striker that it is just recovering from. Now add to that, the European and Chinese want in on the avocado craze, those regions are enjoying their highest level of avocado consumption.

Other reasons more nefarious is the cartel tax that some growers are having to pay otherwise risk losing its crops and workers. Michoacan is a hotbed of cartel activity and cartel bosses always looking to expand their revenue have figured out that being in the avocado growing business is lucrative. There are no official reports on what the growing cartel involvement with avocado growers impact is on production.

Finally there is the fear of the often-threatened President Donald Trump import tax and exit from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Avocado imports have greatly benefited from NAFTA and prices could go much higher if the import tax goes live.

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HSN Staff Writers

HSN staff writers are a group of enthusiastic and talented creative-types that generate great story lines and write about current events with a distinctively Latino voice always respecting the audience it writes for.

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