Avocado: global trade’s golden fruit

11 May 2018
ITC News
Demand driven by hipsters and plumbers alike has led to a surge in avocado exports and imports.

Avocado has in recent years become one of the world’s trendiest fruits and a favourite ‘superfood’. And the rage does not seem to slow down. Its versatility means that it can be used for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and desert – or as a snack on its own. It is the sixth most imported fruit in the world, after bananas, grapes, apples, oranges and almonds.

In 2016, global imports of avocado hit $4.82 billion. Between 2012 and 2016, imports of the superfood grew by 21% whereas the unit value grew by 15%.

So who is responsible for all this healthy trade? The biggest consumer of avocado in 2016 by far was the US ($1.99 billion), followed by the Netherlands ($479.98 million) and France ($376.78m). Mexico, meanwhile, was world’s biggest exporter, shipping avocados worth $2.1 billion across its borders. The Netherlands ($477.24m) and Peru ($396.58m) were ranked second and third.

Interestingly, the Netherlands’ exports are similar to its imports. This is because it supplies a large share of the European market, with Germany, Norway and Sweden being main destination markets for Dutch avocado exports. Most avocado imports to the Netherlands originate in Peru ($124m) and Chile ($116.58m).

The US and Mexico are both each other’s main trading partners, when it comes to avocados. 83% of Mexican avocados are destined for US markets and 37% consummated by the US come from Mexico.

However, according to ITC’s Export Potential Map there remains an estimated $2.9 billion worth of untapped export potential for avocados worldwide. Mexico has about $1.7 billion to explore, whereas Peru ($245.2m) and Chile ($241.3m) could also increase their exports.

This trend is reflected in the main avocado destination markets, too, which all seem hungry for more. For example, Export Potential Map suggest that there is untapped potential in the US of $1.1 billion, $282.4n in the Netherlands and $204.9m in France.

As 2017 data are progressively being available, it will become clear if this trend continues or not. For more information, explore

Explore more data on exports and imports, visit and

Explore more export potential, visit