Avocados from large farms in Peru had already entered the Chinese market around the middle of May last year, but this year the product quality of Peruvian avocados has not yet met the standard requirements of the Chinese government and supply from production areas was delayed. Even at the end of May only a small volume of highland avocadoes was available for retail and this supply volume is not completely sold out. There is a severe shortage of Peruvian avocadoes on the Chinese market.
One importer in Guangdong explained, “Peru began exporting avocados in week 19, but there have been shipping delays between South America and China recently. Guangzhou Jiangnan Market has not received a shipping container of avocados in three weeks. These are exceptional circumstances.”
Another importer in Shanghai faced similar circumstances. “Market supply is extremely short at the moment. Huizhan Market finally received a shipping container of Peruvian avocadoes on Thursday. The number of traders in the wholesale market is much smaller now because of the pandemic. Trade has slowed down somewhat, but even so traders gathered when the container was opened. And the contents were almost immediately sold out. Peruvian avocados are very popular right now.”
It is still unclear when the avocados will arrive in large volumes. Some importers have already made connections with suppliers in production areas to guarantee their supply chain. They are considering flying the avocados in. The additional cost of air freight will reduce the profit margin, but this may be the only way to guarantee uninterrupted supply.
A report from the US Department of Agriculture shows that Peruvian avocado exports in 2021 will expand by 10% in comparison with last year. The export volume is estimated at 450,000 tons. Although Chinese market potential is huge and the import volume rapidly grows, export to the Chinese market only accounted for 3% of the Peruvian avocado export volume. In addition to Peru, a growing number of other avocado producing countries have obtained permission to export to China. The Chinese market receives avocados from New Zealand, the USA, Kenya, and the Philippines, but Chile, Peru, and Mexico remain the largest suppliers.