25/07/2022 - 15:21

Australia facing avocado surplus

25/07/2022 - 15:21

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In some respite for aspiring homeowners, the retail price of an avocado has fallen 47 per cent below the five-year average thanks in part to a bumper crop in Western Australia.

Australia facing avocado surplus
Western Australia's avocado industry has grown significantly. Photo: Claire Tyrrell

In some respite for aspiring homeowners, the retail price of an avocado has fallen 47 per cent below the five-year average thanks in part to a bumper crop in Western Australia.

That’s according to new research from Rabobank, which says the Australian avocado market is due to grow another 40 per cent, or by another 50,000 tonnes, to reach 173,000 tonnes in 2026.

Western Australia has contributed largely to the industry’s growth, with the acreage of producing avocado trees up by 21 per cent during the 2021 / 2022 season.

Along with New Zealand imports, Rabobank said WA supplies the majority of Australia’s avocados during spring and summer.

RaboResearch associate analyst Pia Piggott said WA’s recent bountiful avocado season, which estimated production at 124,000 tonnes, was a “turning point” for the market.

She said production in the state was up 265 per cent on the previous year.

“This was driven by a 21 per cent increase in the hectares of avocado trees in WA that reached maturity and produced fruit in this season, coupled with optimal growing conditions in the state."

The report claims this has led to an oversupply and in turn pushed down retail avocado prices.

It is estimated avocados fell as low as $1 each in June, to sit approximately 47 per cent below average prices for the last five years.

Broadly, the report held that avocado consumption was trending upwards -  up 6 per cent on this time last year - but that it may not be enough to keep pace with projected national supply.

Ms Piggott said regaining balance in the market would require larger export volumes.

“While exporting provides the greatest opportunity for Australia’s avocado industry to attract a good price and improve revenue, ensuring high export quality is paramount to maintaining the reputation and premium of the fruit,” Ms Piggott said.

“Continued investment in improving export access remains a key priority for the Australian avocado industry.”

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