According to Francisco Contardo, executive director of the Chilean Avocado Committee, this season's production was affected by the severe spring frosts, which caused the harvest to fall to 186,000 tons, a figure notably lower than the 220,000 tons achieved last season. The country will export nearly 100,000 tons of avocado in the 2022-2023 campaign.
Will avocado production grow in the coming years?
Climate Change and the long drought in Chile have forced many producers to move further south; however, southern Chile grows other fruits, which means that the space available for the production of avocados is smaller. Urbanization has also consumed large amounts of agricultural land.
This decrease in plantation areas, aggravated by extreme weather events such as frost, has limited the expansion of production. However, according to Contardo, the area will remain relatively stable in the coming years.
Climate change has also affected the seasonality of the fruit and caused an overlap between the campaigns of Peru and Chile. Now, both countries are starting to harvest their avocados around September, which means that they reach overseas markets at the same time; a problem that is exacerbated by the fact that Chile and Peru share the same key export markets, i.e. the European Union, the United States, and China.
A growing domestic market
Avocado consumption in Chile experienced great growth during the pandemic, going from 7.4 kilos per capita to 10-10.2 kilos. In this sense, the sector expects that a significant part of the harvest, around 86,000 tons (i.e. 46% of the total production), will be consumed in the country.