Oh No! Avocado Shortage Looming After US Suspends Shipments From Mexico - Reports

© AFP 2023 / ENRIQUE CASTROMen work during the harvest of avocado at an orchard in Uruapan municipality, Michoacan State, Mexico on April 6, 2016
Men work during the harvest of avocado at an orchard in Uruapan municipality, Michoacan State, Mexico on April 6, 2016 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.02.2022
The US announced on Monday a temporary ban on avocado imports from Mexico after an American inspector, who was checking avocado shipments to the US, received a threat over the phone. The call was said to have come from local cartels that have recently turned their attention to the lucrative avocado market.
The US could face avocado shortages and increased prices if the ban lasts for more than two weeks, experts warned on Wednesday.
Various estimates show that Mexican avocados account for 80-90 percent of the total US avocado market, and import restrictions pose a threat to Mexico's $3-billion avocado industry along with 300,000 jobs.

“Obviously, we will see the availability of avocados significantly decline in the next couple of weeks, and by economic logic, we can expect avocado prices to increase temporarily,” said David Magana, Rabobank senior fruits and vegetable analyst.

Meanwhile, the US authorities haven’t specified the duration of the ban, saying “the suspension will remain in place for as long as necessary to ensure the appropriate actions are taken, to secure the safety of APHIS personnel working in Mexico.”
“If this ban lasts only two weeks, we will probably see less availability, but I don’t think that the impact is going to be too big. We’re just past Super Bowl weekend, and people probably already have avocados in their kitchen,” Magana said.
Avocados have become another victim of the Mexican cartels, who have been battling for control of the crop and attacking avocado growers in the western state of Michoacán, the only Mexican state fully authorized to supply the US market. Since 2019, Mexico has reported several deaths among farmers and state personnel.
Nevertheless, the recent phone threat that the inspector of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) received, is thought by some to be a pretext for political pressure, as the avocado trade is considered by some to be a leverage point in relations with Mexico.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador noted that the government is currently examining the reasons behind the US decision. He said that Washington's actions may be driven by political motives, adding that “there are also a lot of political interests.”
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