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Chile. Avocado exports will reach 145,000 MT, assuming planted area and productivity remain unchanged

08.12.2020 12:10 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U. S. Department of Agriculture attache in The Santiago (Chile), while there are many avocado varieties planted in Chile, mainly destined for the domestic market, Hass avocado planted area reached nearly 90 percent of the total 30,143 hectares (ha). Chileans consume

around 30 percent of the domestic avocado production. Post estimates production will total 220,000 MT and avocado exports will reach 145,000 MT, assuming planted area and productivity remain unchanged.

Production

Chilean avocado planted area totaled 30,143 hectares (ha) in calendar year (CY) 2020.

Planted area has been remain steady since CY2015, thus Post expects planting area to remain around 30,000 ha in CY2021. Post estimates production in CY2021 will total 220,000 MT assuming planted area and productivity remain unchanged.

The region of Valparaiso is the top avocado production region with 20,318 hectares (ha) which represents 67.4 percent of total avocado planted area. Metropolitana and Coquimbo regions hold 14 percent and 13.2 percent of the avocado planted area respectively.

According to CY2020 data from the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture`s Office of Studies and Policy (ODEPA), the top avocado varieties planted in the Valparaiso region is the Hass variety, with 16,690 ha, followed by the Edranol variety with 996 ha, Negra de la Cruz with 207 ha, and Fuerte with 199 ha.

Likewise, in the Metropolitana region there are 3,314 ha of Hass avocado variety in CY2020, and 3,571 ha of Hass in Coquimbo region in CY2018 (last available data point).

Avocado planted area in the Valparaiso region grew 6.8 percent between CY2017 and CY2020 while in the Metropolitana region, avocado planted area decreased by 5.8 percent during the same period, and in the Coquimbo region, avocado planted area decreased by 20.7 percent between 2015 and 2018 (last available data).

Consumption

Chileans consume around 30 percent of avocado production, which amounts to around 65,000 MT per year. Additionally, Chile imports avocados from Peru, Mexico, and the United States in May and June, when local supplies are low. Nearly all avocados in Chile are consumed fresh, however, there is a small quantity destined for the agri-food industry.

Policy

On August 4, 2020, Chiles Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker, announced that Australia granted market access for Chilean avocados. Currently, only New Zealand and Chile have market access to export avocados to Australia. According to Trade Data Monitor (TDM) data, Australia imports 15,000 MT annually of avocados and solely from New Zealand. According to data from ODEPA, Chile exported 250 MT of avocados to Australia between August and October 2020.

On September 23, 2020, Minister Walker announced that Chilean avocados gained market access to the South Korean market. The first shipment of Chilean avocados arrived in November. The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) celebrated the news as Chile continues to work on diversifying Chilean fruits export destinations.

Trade

In CY2019, Chilean avocado exports increased by 9.1 percent in volume over CY2018 totaling 144,620 MT (See Table 2) and $301 million.

In CY2020 (January to September data), Chilean avocado exports have increased by 46.1 percent in volume and 43.3 percent in value. Chiles main export market for avocados is the Netherlands, followed by Argentina, and the United Kingdom (UK).

Chilean avocado exports peak between October and December along the bulk of the harvest season.

Avocado exports in September and October of 2020 have been lower than in the same period in 2019 (See Graph 2). However, Post expects shipments will catch up in November and December, thus Post estimates avocado exports volume will remain unchanged from the previous year at 145,000 MT.

Graph 3 shows the average unit value ($/MT) for Chilean avocados in the top export destinations and how it fluctuates throughout the year. The unit value increases when the supply decreases, which usually happens between May and June. In addition, the unit value fluctuates according to the destination market. The unit values in the UK are higher compared to the overall average unit value and are lower in the Netherlands.

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