Avocadoes in Costa Rica: An Interfered With Market

The ban on Mexican avocado has led to an increase in imports from Chile, raising its wholesale price by more than 30%, and will cause shortages when locally produced supplies have been exhausted.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Protectionism for the Costa Rican production of avocados introduced by the Solis administration, arguing phytosanitary measures, achieved results that benefited local producers, such as increasing the price of the product and a decline in import volumes (13,061 tons in 2013 vs . 11,187 in 2015). But what is good for the local producer, is bad for consumers who are forced to pay more for the fruit, as well as seeing their right to choose what to consume violated, and eventually being prevented from simply consuming anything at all because there is no supply.

An article on Nacion.com reports that "...Randall Benavides, president of the Chamber of Exporters and Importers of perishable goods, said that since last week and until early May there could be a decrease in supply, as production from Chile has now finished and production from Peru begins in the first weeks of May." This comes at a time when "... the supply of Costa Rican avocadoes has been totally reduced."

On the other hand, interventions such as these distort markets, encouraging smuggling: "...Yolanda Fernandez, president of the Costa Rica-Mexico Chamber of Industry and Commerce, agreed on the possible shortage. She warned, as did Benavides, about possible smuggling of Mexican fruit that comes to Costa Rica through Panama. "

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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.

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%.

Costa Rica: A Year Without Mexican Avocados

May 2016

As expected after any government intervention in a market, the price consumers pay for the product has increased and a black market has been created, encouraging smuggling.

And the Costa Rican State itself risks having to pay millions in compensation for convictions for failing to comply with the procedures established by the WTO after blocking imports of avocados from Mexico.

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