Avocado: Some Lose, Some Win

Since Costa Rica suspended the entry of Hass avocado from Mexico, countries such as Chile, Peru and Nicaragua have taken advantage of the situation to increase their exports to the Costa Rican market.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The dispute that is still unresolved dates back several years, when in May 2014 the Costa Rican authorities decided to ban the import of avocado from Mexico, arguing the existence of the disease called sunspot. See history of the conflict.

Given the vacuum left by Mexican sellers, the opportunity to supply the Costa Rican market has been seized by other countries.

In 2014 purchases from Mexican companies represented 83% of the total, but since 2016 there are no reported imports of Hass avocado from the U.S. country.

You may be interested in "Crops in Central America: Main Figures in 2018

Last year, the scenario changed considerably, since the figures of the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) specify that in 2018 fruit purchases from companies in Chile, Nicaragua and Peru, represented respectively 35%, 33% and 22% of Costa Rican imports.

Nacion.com reports that "... The data indicate that total imports of this food were reduced after the measure that suspended permits to bring Hass avocado from Mexico. In 2013 imports were 13,061 tons. By 2016, and with the departure of that country, 9,334 tons were imported and last year purchases abroad were for 7,899 tons."

Randal Benavides, president of the Chamber of Exporters and Importers of Perishable Products, explained that "... in the Costa Rican avocado market there was a phenomenon contrary to economic theory: demand had to adapt to supply, rather than transform supply according to demand.

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More on this topic

Avocado: Costa Rica-Mexico Conflict Resolution Delayed

February 2019

Mexico asks to inspect Costa Rican farms to determine if it is true that the sustain is not in the crops, to which local producers oppose.

In December 2018, the phytosanitary and livestock authorities of Costa Rica and Mexico agreed on a procedure to end almost four years of trade conflict, which arose from the barriers imposed on the entry of avocado to the Costa Rican market.

Avocado Conflict: Panel of Arbitrators is Formed

December 2018

The WTO was part of the panel of experts that will resolve Mexico's lawsuit against Costa Rica, arising from the barriers imposed by the Costa Rican authorities to import the fruit.

The trade conflict emerged because of the barriers that Costa Rica imposes since 2014 to the entry of avocado from Mexico.

The Avocado Paradox

February 2018

Almost three years after the beginning of the restriction of avocado imports from Mexico, citing supposed phytosanitary issues, the Solis administration is now promoting exports of Costa Rican varieties of the fruit, while the local market suffers from shortages.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock announced with great fanfare that it has started an advice giving program to a group of Hass avocado producers in Tarrazú, so that they can start to export the fruit to European countries.

Avocado and the High Cost of Protectionism

February 2017

In Costa Rica since the government suspended imports of Mexican avocados in May 2014, the average wholesale price of the fruit went up by 19% in 2015 and 16% last year.

Since the country stopped the imports of mexican avocados because of the alleged presence of the sunblotch plague, the price of this fruit in the local market has kept on rising. Although avocados are now imported from seven different countries, total imports have fallen 25% since then, and the average price has recorded since then an annual increase of 18%.

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