The trend of a healthier lifestyle has led to an increasing demand for fresh avocados worldwide, resulting in an estimated annual growth rate of 9.1% in the avocado market from 2022 to 2028.
In the United States, the largest importer of this fruit, avocado availability has tripled in the last 15 years, from 450 thousand to more than 1.4 million tonnes, and it still has room to continue growing.
This way, avocado is considered a high-value crop, representing a great economic importance for all countries involved in its trade, as in 2020 alone, world avocado exports had a total value of around 6.786 billion dollars.
In this sense, the 5 main avocado flows account for 48.5% of the world trade of this product, which in turn translates into 3.3 billion dollars, or 48.3% of the world’s total value.
According to the export volume reported in 2020 in the FAOSTAT detailed trade matrix, the main avocado trade flows are Mexico – United States, Peru – Netherlands and Netherlands – Germany.
Table. Top 5 world avocado trade flows in 2020
1) Mexico – United States
Mexico is the largest producer and exporter of avocados in the world, with the United States as its main commercial client, a country to which avocado exports have grown enormously in recent years.
During 2010-2020 the volume of Mexican avocados exported to the United States quadrupled from 229,890 to 925,218 tonnes, experiencing the most significant annual increase in 2012, when its volume increased 38.1% over the previous year.
On the other hand, the 925,218 tonnes exported in 2020 had a 34.5% share in world avocado exports and a value of 2,214 million dollars, which represented 34.0% of the world’ s total export value.
As for the avocado seasonality in the U.S. market, this country receives the Mexican product throughout the year, mainly at the end of the year and beginning of the following one, decreasing these shipments between April and September, which is when domestic production in the United States grows, being California the main producing state.
It is worth mentioning that Mexico also sends a considerable amount of avocado to Canada and Japan, volumes that represent the 4th and 10th most important avocado flows worldwide, respectively.
Graph 1 – Mexican avocado exports to the United States
2) Peru – Netherlands
Besides being the 4th largest avocado producer, Peru is positioned as the 2nd largest exporter worldwide and the leading exporter in South America. In 2020, avocado was the 3rd agri-food product with the highest revenue for Peru with 759 million dollars, only after blueberries and grapes.
The export of avocado in Peru to the Netherlands has increased enormously through the last years, having that for the 2010-2020 period the volume exported to the Netherlands multiplied by 5, going from 26,570 to 137,299 tonnes and having the most significant annual increase in 2018 when its volume grew 50.7% compared to 2017.
Peru also sends a considerable amount of avocado to the United States and Spain, volumes that represent the 5th and 6th most important flows of this product.
Graph 2 – Peruvian avocado exports to the Netherlands
3) Netherlands – Germany
Although the trade flow of avocado from the Netherlands to Germany represented in 2020 the third largest in terms of volume, it ranked second in terms of value, with 342 million dollars, far exceeding the 254 million of Peruvian exports to the Netherlands.
In the period 2010-2020 the Netherlands also increased its exports to Germany by more than 5 times, from 17,429 to 96,939 tonnes, presenting the most important annual increase in 2016 when it raised its shipments 48.5% over the previous year.
It is important to mention that the Netherlands has no avocado production, so its flows to Germany and France (7th largest flow) are the result of this country re-exporting a good part of the volume it receives from other countries such as Peru, thus acting as the most important distributor of this product in Europe.
Graph 3 – Netherlands avocado exports to Germany