Avocado Harvesting Suspended in Mexico

Effective Friday, June 14, 2024, in the evening, the USDA suspended avocado harvesting and shipments from the Mexican state of Michoacán. This decision was prompted by a social protest regarding a labor issue in Aranza, Michoacán, Mexico’s main growing region. The protest led to road blockages that restricted access and transit into the town. During the disruption, two USDA inspectors were stopped, and their vehicle was detained. Following USDA security protocols, the inspectors were secured from the blockade, guaranteed personal safety, and transferred to a hotel. They have since safely returned home to Uruapan, Michoacán. Mexican authorities are now collaborating with the USDA to resolve the issue, ensure the safety of USDA staff, and resume harvesting as soon as possible.

Key Points:

  • Ongoing Discussions: Meetings between the USDA and Mexican authorities are ongoing, with the next one scheduled for this afternoon. Both parties are working diligently to find a resolution that will ensure the safety of USDA staff and allow harvesting to resume promptly.
  • Current Supply: Many suppliers have avocados en route that were shipped prior to the suspension. However, we anticipate that supplies will become increasingly scarce as no new harvests are taking place until an agreement is reached. This situation could lead to significant gaps in supply over the coming weeks.
  • Alternative Sources: While California and Peru are contributing to the supply, their volumes are not enough to fill the substantial gap left by Mexico, which is a major supplier of avocados. This shortfall is expected to impact availability across the market.
  • Market Impact: As a result of the suspension, we are seeing an increase in market prices due to the reduced availability of avocados. This trend is expected to continue until the suspension is lifted and regular harvesting resumes.
  • Force Majeure: Suppliers are discussing force majeure clauses, with some already invoking these provisions this week. This legal concept may impact contractual obligations due to the unforeseen suspension of avocado harvesting.

Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

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