Earlier this year, Americans were threatened with the prospect of an avocado-less summer in the event of a U.S.-Mexico border closure. While we’ve been spared that sad fate, the country is grappling with a more minor avocado shortage, and we’re paying the price.
Avocados have gotten more expensive in recent weeks, and according to USA Today, the prices are expected to continue increasing. Wholesale prices for of mid-sized avocados from Mexico were a whopping 129% higher for the first week of July than they were this time last year, the outlet reported.
“This is the highest price for this time of the year in at least a decade probably more,” said David Magaña, vice president and senior analyst at Rabobank based in Fresno, California. According to Magaña, the wholesale price for a 25-pound box of avocados skyrocketed to $84.25 this month, compared to just $37 this time last year.
Unsurprisingly, that increased wholesale price is causing a spike in your weekly grocery bill as well. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found the average national price of a Haas avocado leapt up to $2.10 July 5, compared to $1.17 from the July 6, 2018 report.
Despite the undertones of this spring’s avocado panic, however, Magaña said the recent price spike isn’t the result of Trump’s tariffs. For the time being, the avocado price increase is simply a matter of supply and demand.
“These high prices have to do with seasonal production in Mexico,” Magaña said. “It’s normally the lowest at this time of the year.” Combined with “expanding global demands” for the popular fruit and California’s disappointing crop this year, avocados are in short supply right now.
Fortunately, this probably isn’t a permanent situation. While prices may continue to increase for the next few weeks, Magaña said they “should come down when the new Mexican production ramps up three, four weeks from now.”
In the meantime, we’ll find out just how much we’re willing to pay for our avocado fix.
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