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Avocado prices rocket for Kiwi consumers as off-season bites, exports grow

The Avocado industry says the rocketing price of the fruit in New Zealand is due to the current off-season and increasing exports.

Avocados with price tags like $10 mean the fruit is out of reach for many Kiwis and low supply means they're not on some supermarkets' shelves.

Jen Scoular of industry organisation New Zealand Avocado has told 1 NEWS prices should fall when the new season starts in June.

"All avocados in New Zealand are grown in New Zealand, and we've just finished a season. So we harvested our last export in February, but we supply the New Zealand market in March, April and a little bit still being harvested now. 

"But the new season will start in June. So our consumers will be pleased to know that we'll start having new season avocados from June and that supply will build up over the season, Ms Scoular said. 

It a matter of supply and demand and as supply increases consumers will "be much happier with the price of avocados," she said. 

New Zealand doesn't import avocados due to biosecurity rules.

"We do try to have supply the whole way through the season and in fact I think 513 trays were packed last week to supply supermarkets but obviously not all supermarkets. And we are also seeing a lot of different varieties," Ms Scoular said.

Avocado exports are increasing and the first exports of the fruit to China were made early last year.

"So we exported I think only 30,000 trays went to China last year. So it's a new market. It's part of what the board's looking at as a strategy to say 'what are the markets for the avocados grown?'" Ms Scoular said.

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    Jen Scoular of industry organisation New Zealand Avocado says prices should fall when the new season starts in June. Source: 1 NEWS