Which Countries Lead Avocado Production in Latin America?
Avocado cultivation is of great relevance in Latin America. This region is home to the leading avocado producers in the world, a list headed by Mexico, a country that also leads the avocado export market.
In addition, avocado production in Latin America is of great economic importance for growers in the region since large volumes of this produce are shipped to markets with high purchase prices, such as the United States and Europe.
Top Contributors to Avocado Production in Latin America
According to the most recent data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Mexico tops this list, as it is the largest avocado producer in the world. It is followed by Colombia and Peru, countries that not only occupy the 2nd and 3rd within Latin America, but also globally. Brazil ranks 5th in the region but 7th in the world.
In terms of yield, El Salvador leads with 34 tons per hectare, followed by the Dominican Republic (16.9 t/ha) and Brazil (16.6 t/ha), which are in 4th and 5th place globally.
Here’s an overview of the top avocado producers in Latin America:
Mexico is the top avocado grower in the world, accounting for 29.7% of the global production. According to recent data from the Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP, by its Spanish acronym), 2021 avocado production in Mexico was 2,442,945 metric tons, an increase of 2.05% over 2020. The state of Michoacán is the main avocado cultivation zone in Mexico, accounting for more than 75% of domestic production.
About 45% of Mexico’s avocado volumes are exported internationally, mainly to the US. Its avocado sales in 2021 totaled US$2.97 billion, a 12% year-on-year increase.
Despite having a lower yield than the Dominican Republic and Brazil, Colombia ranks second in production due to a larger area harvested (78,578 ha), with Antioquia being the most important region in avocado production.
According to the most recent data from the Hass Avocado Board, Colombia’s avocado export value in 2021 totaled US$205 million. Meanwhile, the Colombian Agricultural Sector Information and Communication Network (Agronet) revealed that the country had its greatest production growth between 2017 and 2020. The country rose from fourth to second in Latin America in 2020, surpassing the Dominican Republic and Peru.
La Libertad, Lambayeque, and Lima are the Peruvian regions that hugely contribute to the country’s avocado volumes. However, this 2023, Peru faces changes in the country’s agrarian promotion law that will eliminate tax incentives for growers. Peruvian avocado growers are expected to add lesser acreage due to this.
In 2021, volumes of avocados from Peru increased, becoming the third largest avocado producer in Latin America. It bumped down the Dominican Republic, which took the spot in 2020. Peru’s recent increase in production and harvested area have been more significant than those of the Dominican Republic, to the extent that Peru already has a larger area than this other country. Meanwhile, Colombia surpassed Peru’s avocado output in 2020.
Until 2019, the Dominican Republic ranked second in avocado production in Latin America. However, in 2020 Colombia surpassed it, making it the third-largest avocado producer. Dominican Republic’s ranking in avocado yields went down again in 2021, with Peru exceeding its output. Based on the most recent data on avocado volumes, the country now ranks fourth in Latin America. Since 2017, the Dominican Republic avocado production and harvest area have remained steadily growing, although at a slow pace.
ProducePay’s Role in the Agricultural Sector
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