Avocado prices shoot up but tariffs not responsible, report says

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(FOX Business) If you feel like the cost of ingredients for your homemade guacamole has gone up lately, you’re not alone.

The average price of an avocado has increased by nearly 80 percent since this time last year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. As of July 5, consumers were paying a weighted average of $2.10 per avocado, compared to $1.17 a year ago.

Tariffs have recently worried some consumers about the changing costs of goods they buy, but tariffs haven’t played a role in avocado prices yet, according to David Magaña, vice president and senior analyst at Rabobank. He told USA Today about why shoppers have been seeing higher avocado prices at the grocery store.

For one, the wholesale price for a 25-pound box of avocados is more than double the price it was the week of Independence Day 2018, according to the report. Magaña said it’s the highest price for this time of year in a decade.

Also, demand for avocados has grown in the U.S., Magaña told USA Today Opens a New Window. .

“Avocados are not only consumed now for Super Bowl or during Cinco de Mayo celebrations but year-round consumption,” he said.

Mexico is the largest supplier of agricultural imports to the U.S., according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The $26 billion in imports last year included $5.8 billion in fresh fruit, as well as $1.7 billion in processed fruit and vegetables.

Close to 90 percent of avocados come from Mexico, USA Today reported. Meanwhile, California had its smallest avocado crop in more than a decade, Magaña told the newspaper.

“These high prices have to do with seasonal production in Mexico,” he said. “It’s normally the lowest at this time of year.”

Average avocado prices have sunk to about a dollar at other times in the past year, according to USDA data. And they likely won’t stay as high as they are now for long, Magaña told USA Today.

“They should come down when the new Mexican production ramps up three, four weeks from now,” he said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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