8 May 2015

High prices and volumes for avocado growers

3:28 pm on 8 May 2015

Avocado exporter Avoco says its growers are celebrating the end of a season where they not only got a bumper crop - but decent prices for their fruit too.

Avoco said strong end-of-season demand from Australia lifted returns for growers - to $15 per tray for large avocados and $14 per tray for smaller fruit.

Avoco director John Carroll said the company exported a record volume of fruit - 4.5 million trays, out of a total 7 million trays - and still managed to get good returns for its 700 plus growers.

"The most exciting thing is it's been New Zealand's heaviest crop and the largest volume of of exports we've sent out of the country.

He said with primary production heavy volumes often made for less attractive prices.

"But the nice thing about this year is we've achieved very good values about it, so it's pretty pleasing and the growers are pretty excited about it."

But Mr Carroll said the season was not all smooth sailing - with exports to the United States turning into a nightmare.

"We made a deliberate decision to support the US even though we knew that the value coming out of that market would be modest.

"As it turned out, it was very difficult because there were significant delays on the West Coast of the US where we ship to.

They had terrible congestion in their ports backed up with some industrial action at the waterfront - it was a nightmare."

He said the competition at that time of year in the US market is Mexico.

"The Mexican fruit is coming by land, so they're just trucking fruit in."

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