Costa Rica: A Year Without Mexican Avocados

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.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

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.

An article in Elmundo.cr reports that "... with prices almost double what was paid before and the growing illegal entry of Mexican avocados from the borders with Panama, employers are warning that Costa Rica is at the gates of a million - dollar lawsuit because of the government's arrogance."

"... The closure to imports of Mexican avocados has only had negative effects on consumers and created distortions in the market, as the product has registered overpricing of up to 87% of its historic value of the last five years. "

"... In this situation there has only been losers, because consumers are paying more for a lower quality product, restaurants have recorded a 20% increase in the amout of wastage product they purchase for their dishes and the Treasury has stopped making money, as much of the product being sold on the street is smuggled, "said Randall Benavides, President of the Chamber of Exporters and Importers Perishables (CEIPP)."



More on this topic

Avocado: Some Lose, Some Win

September 2019

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.

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.

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: Disguised Protection of Local Avocados

September 2016

The delay in phytosanitation studies by the Ministry of Agriculture has stalled the process for starting imports of avocados from the Dominican Republic.

Even though it has been a month since the Chamber of Exporters and Importers of Perishable Goods asked to be able to start the process of importing avocados from the Caribbean island, a delay in carrying out a study on the part of the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) has prevented this from happening.

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