Avocado Prices May Finally Be Steadying
A recent dip could mean good news for guacamole lovers.
In recent years, avocados have become beloved with a level of passion typically not seen on the produce aisle. However, that high demand has come at a price… literally. Avocado prices are higher now than they’ve been in decades, with prices doubling in the past year alone. But finally, some good news, relief appears to be in sight – though don’t expect to see the low avocado prices of yore returning anytime soon.
According to Bloomberg, avocado prices may finally be stabilizing. And that’s big news because prices have been on a tear for most of 2017. Year-to-date, the wholesale cost of a 10-kilogram box of Hass avocados from the Mexican state of Michoacan has gone up 140 percent to just over $34. In January, they were closer to $14. Still, that $34 number is down from a record high on July 12 of just over $36. Overall, that’s translated to a 40 percent increase in sticker prices at the grocery store: The USDA says a single Hass avocado now costs $1.51. Hopefully, it doesn’t go any higher. “Prices in the foreseeable future will stabilize a little, and you won’t see a sharp incline,” Robert Bonghi, the director of procurement and pricing at the Produce Alliance, was quoted as saying. “Growers are trying to put more trees in the ground to keep up.”
Beyond simply trying to keep up with the world’s continued lust for avocados by planting more trees, a number of other factors should play into keep prices steady into next year. Avocado trees have an “alternate bearing” growing cycle, meaning they alternate between larger and smaller crops. 2018 is reportedly one of the larger crop years. Additionally, 2017 has already seen better growing conditions than the previous year: Since avocados grow for about a year before than can be harvested, that’s actually great news for 2018 as well.
Of course, basic economics say that a lower demand could also ease prices, but that seems unlikely. In the 2015-2016 season, Americans ate about 7.1 pounds of avocados each, more than double than they did a decade earlier. Meanwhile, Europe and China have caught avocado fever, too. “The global market virtually exploded overnight,” said Bonghi. It’s like, come on, guacamole! Why do you have to be so delicious?!