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USDA suspends imports of Mexican avocado

The United States temporarily suspended its avocado imports from Mexico, arguing that one of the inspectors received threats through his cell phone.

The avocado is the most traded tropical fruit in the world, and Mexico is the world’s largest exporter.

For its part, the United States is the largest importer of avocado in the world and exceeded 3,000 million dollars of foreign purchases of this product in 2021, with Mexico as its dominant supplier (more than 90% share).

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that Mexico will export 1.33 million tons in the 2021/22 cycle, which is equivalent to 8% less than in the previous season, due to lower production.

In particular, exports to the United States are forecast at 1.04 million tons.

Likewise, the USDA projects a high demand in the United States during January/February for the Super Bowl and in April/May for Cinco de Mayo.

USDA

Michoacán, the only state with phytosanitary approvals to export to the United States, normally exports approximately 85% of production.

Profit margins for export to the United States are typically 50% higher than supplies sold to the domestic market.

Michoacán also exported 22% higher volumes in the 2020/21 marketing year than the previous year to markets outside the United States, due to increased production.

Canada, Japan and Spain were the main destinations.

The international demand for avocados from Mexico continues to increase and producers without access to the US market continue to seek international markets with higher profitability than the domestic market. Jalisco exported 26% more volume than the previous business year in 2020/21, mainly to Japan, Canada, France and Spain.

Among other derived products, frozen avocado puree is a common exportable by-product, with a shelf life of eight to 10 months.

The suspension of US imports of Mexican avocados applies from this Saturday, one day before the Super Bowl.

Fresh Mexican Hass avocados from Michoacán enter the United States duty free.

According to the USDA, growers pay APEAM five cents per pound of exported avocados to cover USDA inspection fees.

Fresh avocado imports from the United States are not subject to any tariffs. They are subject to phytosanitary and sanitary inspections by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER).

 

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