According to the OECD and FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 report, avocado will become the most commercialized tropical fruit in 2030, a year in which production is projected to reach millions of tons, of which up to 3 will be exported, 9 million tons, surpassing both pineapples and mangoes in volume.
Likewise, given the high average unit prices of avocado, the total value of world exports would reach an estimated USD 8.3 billion, thus positioning the avocado as one of the most valuable fruits on the market.
The broad world demand and lucrative export unit prices continue to be the main drivers of this growth, stimulating substantial investments in the expansion of the production area in both the main producing and emerging countries.
Latin America, the main producer
Avocado production has been quite concentrated, with the top 10 producing countries accounting for almost 80% of world production and, although new growing areas are emerging rapidly, by 2030 around 74% of avocado production is expected to remain in Latin America and the Caribbean, given the favorable growth conditions in this region.
The United States and the European Union, where consumer interest in avocados is driven by its healthy benefits, will continue to be the top importers for the next decade, accounting for 40% and 31% of world imports in 2030, respectively. However, imports are also increasing rapidly in many other countries, such as China and some from the Middle East, and, as measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman index of all importers, the concentration of imports is gradually decreasing, the paper reveals.
Implications for Costa Rica
In 2020, Costa Rican avocado exports reached USD 20 thousand, and they went mainly to Panama (99%) and Nicaragua (1%). As of June 2021, shipments of this product were already USD 41 thousand, with destinations Panama (95%), Colombia (4.5%) and Nicaragua (0.5%) as the recipients.
Despite being an incipient activity in the country, it is important that the productive and government sectors stay informed about the prospects for world markets for the coming years, in order to implement the measures and efforts required to increase production and availability of quality and competitive avocado, as well as to seek the opening of consumer markets, which, according to the note, are traditional markets for the country (United States and Europe), but also in others with potential, such as Asian nations and even to the Middle East.