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Chilean Avocado Exports Set to Surge by Over 20%

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Avocados

The Chilean Avocado Annual Report released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that Chile’s avocado production will reach 200,000 tonnes in the 2023/24 season (July 2023-June 2024), an increase of 21.2% compared to the 2022/23 season, and exports are expected to be 110,000 tonnes, an increase of 24.4% compared to the previous season.

Avocado cultivation in Chile extends from the Coquimbo region in the north to the O’Higgins region in the south-central part of the country, with the Valparaiso region being the largest avocado-producing area, with a size of 20,318 hectares, accounting for 62.7 percent of the country’s total cultivated area. Over the past three seasons, all the other producing regions, except Metropolitan, have seen an increase in avocado acreage. Chilean avocado acreage reached 32,387 ha in the 2022/23 season and is expected to be 32,710 ha in the 2023/24 season, an increase of 1 percent from the 2022/23 season. Benefiting from favorable weather conditions and abundant winter rains, Chilean avocado production is expected to increase to 200,000 tonnes in the 2023/24 season, up 21.2% from 165,000 tonnes in the 2022/23 season.

Chilean avocado

Hass, the main avocado variety grown in Chile, is well adapted to the country’s natural conditions and is preferred by consumers for its creamy texture and high oil content. A major problem with Hass, however, is its sensitivity to frost and excessive soil moisture, which limits its growing areas to hillsides and areas with well-drained soils. Chile also produces other avocado varieties in smaller quantities, including Edranol, Negra de la Cruz, Fuerte, and Bacon.

In the first two months of the 2023/24 season, Chilean avocado exports increased by 64.2 percent compared to the 2022/23 season. Exports are forecast at 110,000 tonnes for the 2023/24 season, up 24.4% from the 2022/23 season due to increased production. Due to the freeze, the 2022/23 season saw lower avocado production and a consequent drop in exports. total Chilean avocado exports in the 2022/23 season were 88,413 tonnes, down 30.3% from the 2021/22 season, and the value of exports fell to US$178.4 million, a 33.4% decrease.

The largest export market for Chilean avocados in the 2022/23 season was the Netherlands, followed by Argentina and the United Kingdom. For most of the harvest season, the peak of Chilean avocado exports occurs between October and December. Avocado exports from November 2022 to April 2023 are substantially lower than in the previous season due to lower production. In the 2022/23 season, China is the fifth largest export destination for Chilean avocados in terms of volume, but fourth in terms of value.

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