Extreme weather conditions have taken their toll on the avocado industry which is predicting a 30% decrease in volumes for the 2018/19 harvest season, according to the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA).
“We are expecting a South African avocado export crop of around 70 000 tons. This is down on last season’s bumper crop of 86 000 tons,” said Derek Donkin, CEO of the South African Subtropical Growers’ Association (Subtrop).
The heat waves experienced towards the end of 2018 were not the only contributing factor.
“The reduction in the export crop is due to the alternate bearing habit of avocado orchards; a larger crop is usually followed by smaller crop,” Donkin said.
The local consumer market will also see a hike in avocado prices.
The 2017/18 “giant harvest” amounted to approximately 23 million 4kg equivalent cartons.