It’s Cinco de Mayo, and avocado prices are soaring
Last week, prices for a carton of 48 Hass avocados hit a high of about $78.75 on average, according to ProduceIQ, a digital marketplace for produce buyers and growers, which uses USDA data. That reflects the price for avocados coming into the United States from Mexico at the Texas border.
This time last year, avocado carton prices were in the $40 range, according to ProduceIQ.
“It’s been high all year … and it’s maintained historic highs,” said Mark Campbell, CEO of ProduceIQ.
A number of factors have led to higher prices this year, he said.
Meanwhile, demand has been strong, noted David Magaña, senior analyst for horticulture at Rabobank. That’s not just due to typical spikes around the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo, but also because more Americans are interested in in avocados year-round, he said.
“Per capita consumption in the US has more than doubled over the last decade,” he said. “And I still think there is some room for growth.”
The good news is that prices have already eased off their highs, and could continue to fall.
The Peruvian avocado season has started, Campbell noted, which means that overall supply will increase, and could prices down further. And later this year, the US government will start accepting avocados from Jalisco, another region in Mexico. Previously, the US allowed imports only from Michoacan.
So what does all of this mean for consumers?
“Consumers are seeing some slightly elevated prices in supermarkets,” said David Rossi, fresh produce research analyst at Gro Intelligence, an agricultural data analytics firm. But, he noted, retailers can decided to absorb the cost and lessen the impact on consumers, reducing the impact on shoppers.
— CNN’s Alicia Wallace, Vanessa Yurkevich and Karol Suarez contributed to this report.
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