World Avocado Map 2023: Global Growth Far From Over
Global avocado production and trade have expanded at a fast pace over the past decade. Attractive product attributes have driven demand, while profitability has incentivized increased production. In the next few years, avocado trade will continue to grow, but the market will be more competitive, forcing operators to be not only more efficient but also increasingly sustainable. As availability is expected to be steady, consumers will benefit from relatively affordable prices in key markets, increasing the popularity of this super fruit.
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A Nutritious Super Fruit
The health halo of avocados is certainly a major drawing card for consumers around the world. As a nutrient-dense fruit, avocados are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fats. The significant growth in trade comes as no surprise, given that avocados are also an incredibly versatile superfood that is used in many different cuisines. Our recently published World Avocado Map shows the emergence of global avocado production, consumption, and trade.
Global avocado production expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 7% during the past decade, to just over 8.4m metric tons in 2022. Attractive prices and returns during that period were relevant drivers to expanding production in key regions. In Mexico, which currently accounts for 30% of global avocado output, production grew at a CAGR of roughly 6% during the past decade. In Colombia, Peru, and Kenya, production increased roughly 15%,12%, and 11% during the same period, accounting for 12%, 9%, and 6% of current global production, respectively (see Figure 1). The US, still among the world’s largest avocado-producing countries in 2012, dropped a few places in the ranking and is no longer a top 10 producer.
Increased avocado production in countries with complementary harvesting seasons has allowed year-round availability in key markets, including the US, the EU, and some markets in Asia. While production in Mexico extends year-round, it reaches a seasonal low in June and July, when production peaks in the US (California) and Peru, providing steady supply to the US market (see Figure 2). Also, shipments from Peru, Colombia, Chile, Spain, South Africa, Kenya, and other regions keep the EU market well-supplied throughout the year. Seasonality in China will allow increasing imports from regions such as Peru.
Global Trade Shows Strong Growth but Dipped in 2022
After years of steady increases, global avocado exports declined 5% in 2022, as increments in shipments from Peru, Kenya, South Africa, and Morocco could not offset lower production and exports from Mexico, Spain, Chile, and Israel (see Figure 3). With exports increasing at an average annual growth rate of around 8% over the past decade, Mexico reaffirmed its place as the largest avocado-exporting country in the world, surpassing 1m metric tons in 2022. The primary destination is, by far, the US market, where product versatility and promotional campaigns have helped to create demand for avocados in retail and foodservice channels. Exports from Peru, Spain, and Kenya expanded at a CAGR of 22%, 6%, and 15%, respectively, between 2012 and 2022. In addition, exports from Colombia rose from the ground to 99,000 metric tons in the same period, while exports from Chile, South Africa, and Israel grew marginally.
On the import front, the US remains the largest destination market, with imports increasing at a CAGR of roughly 8% from 2012 to 2022. Imports to the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, and the UK expanded at a CAGR of around 14%, 20%, 8%, 16%, and 12%, respectively. Among the top 10 avocado-importing countries, imports to Chile grew the most, from 1,000 metric tons in 2012 to 59,000 metric tons in 2022.
Global Avocado Market Worth USD 18 Billion, With Huge Differences in per Capita Consumption
We estimate the global commercial market value of fresh avocados was around USD 18bn in 2022, with the US and Canada combined accounting for roughly 27%. According to our estimates, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa and the Middle East account for 22%, 11%, 4%, and 4% of global market value, respectively. We estimate there is room for significant growth in several markets around the world, as per capita consumption is highly variable. In terms of per capita avocado availability (which is used as an indicator of consumption), Mexico leads the category, with a global record of about 9kg of fresh avocados per person per year, followed by Chile with almost 8 kg. Australia and the US complete the list of countries with over 4kg per capita (see Figure 4). In Europe, per capita consumption varies widely.
Sustainability Is on the Agenda
The global avocado industry has been upping its efforts to educate consumers on the nutritional benefits of avocados as well as its sustainability issues. Water usage is the main sustainability issue discussed in the case of avocados. Partly because of this, avocado growers have invested in advanced irrigation systems to improve water efficiency. Irrigated water usage differs highly around the world, according to the various climate and growing conditions around the globe. Production in tropical countries such as Colombia and the Dominican Republic is mainly rainfed. Therefore, the use of irrigated water (also called blue water footprint) is relatively low, compared to countries like Israel, Chile, and South Africa, which need irrigation to supplement the rainfall that is limited to specific months.
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