Avocado supply in Europe is mainly from Spain and Israel at the moment. Supply has generally been better so far this year than the previous year according to Mark Everett, Business Unit Manager - Avocados at Worldwidefruit in the UK.
"Spain and Israel have the lion's share of supply at the moment, there are some arriving from Mexico, a little form Kenya and very small volumes from Peru," says Mark. "The Kenyan avocados tend to be a little bit cheaper, but Spanish and Israeli avocados definitely have the best quality at this time of the year."
Both Spain and Israel have had more volumes available this year due to the bi-annual bearing of avocado trees.
"Prices have been strong in January and February and good market demand is holding them there, but they are not exceptionally high, around the same or just less that last year according to Mark.
April and May, however could be challenging in terms of supply until South Africa and Peru start with their volumes.
The excessive rain in Peru will cause a slow start to the season. Floods and landslides have already caused infrastructure damage, and people won't harvest avocados when it is wet as this causes damage to the fruit. On the other hand South Africa has had rain in the growing regions, which until a couple of months ago were still in a drought situation, this will only improved the sizing of the fruit.
Ongoing effects of the low pound
"We are still procuring fruit from the same suppliers and still have to pay prices which are competitive in the avocado world," explains Mark. "Companies can sustain this for a while but ultimately the price will have to go up. There are no gaps on the shelves and retailers are well supplied, but people will have to pay more. The avocado market is still growing and in the UK we are less inclined to increase prices in the supermarkets but raw material costs are increasing."