Chile’s Avocado production up 57% on favorable weather conditions

CHILE – Chile will produce 220,000 MT of avocados in MY 2021/22 (July – June), a 57 percent increase over MY2020/21, according to data from the Chilean Avocado Committee. 

The significant increase in production has been attributed to favorable climatic conditions and a successful setting of the fruit.  

Production is coming from a total cultivated area of 30,143 hectares (ha) with the Valparaiso accounting for  67.4 percent of the total planted area. 

The main avocado variety produced in Chile is Hass which accounts for 89 percent of the total area under avocado cultivation. 

Other avocado varieties produced in Chile are Edranol (5.1 percent of the planted area), Negra de la Cruz (1.6 percent of the planted area), Fuerte (1.3 percent of the planted area), and Bacon (0.4 percent of the planted area).  

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USDA notes that producers are still planting mainly Hass and Edranol in new orchards, since those varieties perform very well in Chile.  

However, Hass variety is sensitive to frost and can develop fungal infections (Phytophthora cinnamomi) due to excessive humidity in the soil, limiting area planted.  

45.5 percent of production is expected to go to domestic consumption as Chileans use avocado in every meal from breakfast where it is combined with bread to lunch and dinner where it is a key ingredient in salads or sushi rolls.  

As demand for avocadoes is high in Chile, avocado prices reached a historical maximum of 6.8 USD/kg in May 2021.  

However, in August 2021, prices started to decrease as domestic production increased, stabilizing around 4.7 USD per kilogram. 

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What Chile doesn’t consume locally is exported to other countries mainly the Netherlands, followed by Argentina, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States. 

The Chilean avocado export industry however seeks to diversify export markets for Chilean fresh fruit, including avocados.  

The Chilean diversification plan aims to reduce dependency on any particular market while increasing the competitiveness of Chilean fruit.  

The latest market openings for Chilean avocado were Australia in August 2020 and South Korea in September 2020. 

Lower production in the previous year meant that exports will decline. Data from USDA revealed that avocado exports decreased by 58.4 percent in volume over CY2020 totaling 16,476 MT, and by 50 percent in value totaling $42.8 million. 

During the same period, imports increased by 120.4 percent in volume and 197.2 percent in value with Peru being the main supplier of the fruit.  

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