Monday, August 10, 2009

Florida avocado deal down more than a third

Excerpts from a 8/10/09 article by Doug Ohlemeier

Lower volume and higher prices characterize this year's Florida avocado deal, but shippers said they expect to meet regular customer demand for the fruit.

"The cut in volume follows freezing temperatures in January, spring drought conditions and an alternate-bearing smaller crop year following large crop production during the 2007 and 2008 seasons," said Jose Rossignoli, vice president of sales and marketing for Brooks Tropicals, LLC, Homestead, Florida.

"Despite the smaller volume," Rossignoli said "Brooks expects to have no problems supplying customers with fruit and that buyers shouldn't expect any shortages."

"We expect to have a normal supply of avocados throughout the rest of the season," he said Aug. 4. "Though we expect our crop to be a little shorter than last year's , there will still be adequate overall volume for weekly business and promotions."

Rossignoli said, "Brooks expects to do well with the lower volume."

Brooks expects to ship a little less than 500,000 55-pound bushels, which in a typical year is about half the industry's volume.

"With the volume decline, however," Rossignoli said, "the industry could be shipping 800,000-900,000 bushels this year."