Overview of the current hass avocado market in Kenya
The harvest for avocados in Kenya starts with the Fuerte variety and leads into Hass avocados. The harvest volume for this season is expected to witness an increase for the Hass variety and decrease for the Fuerte variety. This is due to irregular climatic conditions such as heavy rainfall during the first couple of months during the harvest season when Fuerte avocados were harvested. As Hass, however, is the main variety for sale, the drop in the Fuerte variety is not expected to have a detrimental effect on the total production volume.
While there is a normal decrease in prices during this time of the season, prices of avocados in the EU market were reported to drop by nearly 40%. Kenya is currently undergoing downward pressure on prices due to the combined effects of decreased sales to Europe and large volumes of South American avocados in the market, which compared to Kenyan avocados, are mechanized which allows them to produce large quantities.
Kenya has seen a dip in exports since the beginning of the pandemic, with suppliers reporting that previous consignments to its main export market, the European Union, were unable to be fulfilled. This is as the majority of avocados are streamlined to the hospitality industry or retailers which had been closed from the epidemic
The avocado sector in Kenya is expected to be on a steady but firm rising track. Avocado production, especially of the Hass variety, exhibits an increasing trend along with expansions in production areas. The increase in output is in line with the steady rise in demand over recent years. Furthermore, due to little mechanization of production, Kenyan growers are able to inflict minimal damage to the environment as well as to the fruits.
With rising demand for Kenyan avocados before the start of the pandemic, exports and prices are forecast to recover in the foreseeable future. Exports are estimated to increase towards the end of the season with the reopening of the European market as demand returns back to normal. During when exports to the EU were limited, Kenyan suppliers also experienced an increase in demand from new markets, such as the Middle East and Asia, which is expected to continue.
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