“Our avocados are harvested to order and shipped immediately”
Overview of avocados from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on May 24, 2023.
May is a transition month for avocados in Mexico as the Marzena bloom moves up to the higher elevations (2,000 – 2,300 meters) for summer harvest. “We have invested in high level elevation orchards to deliver the best quality Hass Avocados during the summer months,” says Gabriel Villaseñor, owner and CEO of La Bonanza Avocados.
“These new orchards perform with ‘normal bloom’ fruit qualities,” he explained. The company is expected to have excellent supplies for their customers this summer. “The trees have a great amount of fruit this year due to an excellent rainy season,” said Maggie Bezart-Hall with La Bonanza. Currently, availability of small sizes 60/70s (24%) is more limited while 48s (26%) and 40-32 (18%) are in high demand, followed by 84s (10%) in the Michoacán region.
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)
High dry matter
This time of year, dry matter is very high. “This demands high expertise in ripening to make sure our customers receive the fruit at the stage they require with time to sell,” said Bezart-Hall. “This is where we shine as we harvest to order and ship immediately.” As a result, customers receive the fruit in their warehouses within days of harvesting.
“Our Texas customers receive the fruit within four to five days while it takes about seven to eight days to arrive on the East Coast. This is crucial to quality, especially at the end of a bloom.” About 98 percent of La Bonanza’s #1 and #2 avocados are shipped to the United States and distributed from coast to coast through the company’s import office in Mission, TX. In addition, the company’s processing plant allows all other grades to be utilized, preventing product from waste. Guacamole, pulp/mash, and other avocado products are shipped to the US, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Israel, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Germany. “Our unique flavors are well known in Europe with the Santa Fe recipe being the most popular flavor.”
From a logistics perspective, things have been challenging. “We’ve had a lot of changes and adjustments due to the requested Less-than-truckload (LTL) business that we have gained,” said Luis Aguilar, Warehouse and Transportation Manager. “It is hard to find carriers that will meet the needs of our customers’ demand on delivery dates as well as the quality requirements of the avocados. It takes a lot of commitment to search this type of business. Many carriers claim they offer LTL, but there is no follow through. At the same time, FTL has seen some lowering of prices and adjustments, but very little since the pandemic. The lack of drivers has been a big issue, but we are starting to see more drivers assist with hauling. Little by little, things are going back to pre-pandemic capacity and freight,” shared Aguilar. However, diesel prices haven’t come down due to the war in Ukraine.
Due to increased avocado volumes from Mexico, there have been significant changes in pricing compared to last year. “However, with Mexico and California being the strongest players until Peru ramps up, the market is expected to continue climbing,” Bezart-Hall said. Pricing won’t be anywhere near last year’s levels, but it will climb until the beginning of the Loca season in July.” Importers buy from thousands of individual growers, who find it difficult to understand the ‘Mostly Market’ in the US. At the moment, they are able to sell within their domestic market as well as South American market for similar pesos versus shipping to the US. “We pride ourselves in our quality, but to continue providing high-quality fruit, stronger negotiations are required that involve a higher price.”
Addition to the team
Recently, Jaime Padilla joined the La Bonanza sales team with over 15 years’ experience working in the avocado business. “I am very excited to join La Bonanza USA. I just returned from our corporate headquarters in Uruapan, MX and it was an amazing experience to see our own fruit growing in our orchards and being processed, including our own guacamole and pulp products, directly from the source. So proud to be here!” Welcome Jaime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.
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