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6.6     Avocado

6.6.1      Avocado industry profile

New Zealand has 1,350 growers, growing avocados from Bay of Plenty to Northland across 4,000 hectares. Growers are all voting members of the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association, which has a 100% owned subsidy Avocado Industry Council as the operating entity. The industry grows predominantly Hass avocados, which are harvested for export from late August through to late March, but are harvested for supply of the New Zealand market for 12 months a year.

Avocados are the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand and in 2016, the 5th largest horticultural export. The industry value is $133m, being $40m from sales in the New Zealand market and the remainder from export sales across Australia, approximately 75%, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and some other smaller markets. Eleven exporters and 14 packhouses are involved in the export and NZ market for avocados.

The avocado industry has been a prescribed product under the Horticulture Export Authority since 1989. The Avocado Industry Council is the recognised product group, made up of growers and exporters (Contact Jen Scoular, CEO). The Avocado Growers’ Association and Avocado Industry Council (www.nzavocado.co.nz) together as NZ Avocado, set strategy for the industry to drive growth and profitability.  NZ Avocado also represents grower interests and industry good activities including research, promotion, and facilitating market access. 

In April 2014 the Avocado Industry Council established a partnership with MPI in a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme called New Zealand Avocados Go Global. The objective of this five year programme is to significantly increase the productivity, capability and sales for the avocado industry.

Table 6.6.1: New Zealand avocado production 1999-2016 (year ended June, 5.5 kg trays and total tonnes)

Year

Export trays

Local market trays

Processing trays

Total trays

Total tonnes

1999-00

1,125,000

555,000

1,680,000

9,400

2000-01

1,400,000

712,000

180,000

2,292,000

12,606

2001-02

1,321,000

678,000

155,000

2,154,000

11,847

2002-03

1,259,000

1,075,000

75,000

2,409,000

13,248

2003-04

1,055,000

825,000

55,000

1,935,000

10,642

2004-05

1,122,175

895,961

118,498

2,136,634

11,751

2005-06

2,406,022

1,294,168

476,225

4,176,415

22,970

2006-07

945,885

989,335

71,137

2,006,357

11,035

2007-08

2,644,862

1,480,529

741,089

4,866,480

26,766

2008-09

1,399,270

1,158,117

144,273

2,701,660

14,859

2009-10

2,280,276

1,334,190

337,837

3,952,303

21,738

2010-11

1,721,698

1,034,090

280,549

3,036,337

16,700

2011-12

3,713,122

1,774,375

693,781

6,181,278

33,997

2012-13

1,217,184

1,191,204

159,838

2,568,226

14,125

2013-14

3,136,968

1,280,625

479,234

4,896,827

26,933

2014-15

4,487,540

1,877,542

744,590

7,109,672

39,103

2015-16

2,550,990

1,233,927

379,890

4,164,807

22,906

Source: New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association & Avocado Industry Council Ltd Annual Report 2016

6.2  Avocado exports

Based on export earnings, the avocado industry was the fifth most valuable horticultural export group in 2016. This is the same position as seen in 2014. Australia remains New Zealand's largest export market for avocados, with 14,000 tonnes sent to this market in 2016 – showing a slight decrease from 91% to 85% of total exports. It is important to note that avocados bear a large crop every second year, which can be seen in the difference in crop volumes in Table 6.6.1 and in export volumes in 6.6.2. The industry’s focus on the Australian market as the export window means that fruit remain on trees during flowering, a management practice which encourages alternate bearing.

 

Table 6.6.2: Avocado (0804.40.00.01) export markets 2014-16 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2014

2015

2016

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Australia

17,287

84,332,190

21,617

94,438,363

14,384

70,707,653

Thailand

294

1,580,177

599

3,032,068

579

3,901,151

Singapore

551

2,599,352

1,129

3,987,026

633

2,836,306

Japan

729

2,481,251

1,533

3,873,690

660

2,798,400**

Korea

279

1,206,160

508

2,628,611

412

2,122,055

Malaysia

126

534,174

162

568,591

119

670,330

Taiwan

14

98,012

53

340,716

57

391,537

India

3

13,232

27

141,020

42

278,780

New Caledonia

8

51,727

14

73,863

18

102,509

Fiji

7

35,254

12

56,013

12

62,339

Indonesia

0

0

11

71,289

4

31,177

Hong Kong

8

35,033

0

0

4

19,449

French Polynesia

2

6,572

1

2,927

0

2,051

Pacific Islands

0.3

1,321

0.6

3,439

0.2

1,890

United States of America

1

2,097

3,514

6,419,166

0

0

Total

19,308

$92,976,552

29,179

$115,636,782

16,924

$83,925,627

% change (Yr/Yr)

139%

176%

51%

24%

-42%

-27%

Source: Statistics New Zealand

** The Statistics NZ value of avocado exports to Japan in 2016 is underestimated by approximately 50%. This is an error acknowledged by Statistics NZ, but the data cannot be updated by Statistics NZ. To calculate the value of exports the average $/kg of $4.25/kg was applied to 660,000kg = $2,798,400.