Oversupply, low demand drop avocado prices 20%

By Hong Chau   June 30, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
Oversupply, low demand drop avocado prices 20%
Avocado 034 for sale on the sidewalk of Le Duc Tho Road, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chau
The price of avocado 034 from the Central Highlands, Vietnam's largest avocado-growing area, has dropped 20% year on year thanks to oversupply and low demand during tough economic times.

The unique varietal is currently selling for VND15,000-30,000 (US$0.64-1.27) per kilogram at markets and on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

Hoang, an avocado trader at a market in the city’s Go Vap District, said his wholesale customers are buying half as much volume as they used to.

In previous years, his wholesale customers bought 100-200 kilograms of avocado 034 from him every purchase, he said.

Loan, a fruit vendor on Pham Van Dong Road, said she currently sells three kilograms of avocado 034 for VND50,000, her lowest-ever price.

"Now I only manage to sell 30-50 kilograms a day, half of what I was selling at this same time last year," she said.

Nguyen Thanh Mai, who buys agricultural products in the Central Highlands region and sell them to wholesalers in HCMC, said she currently sells a few hundred kilograms of avocado each time she visits the city, down from 5-10 tons during the same period last year.

As avocado sales in the city have shrunk, the fruit’s exports to Cambodia and Thailand have also decreased 20% year-on-year, she added.

Thanh, the owner of three hectares of avocado 034 orchards in Lam Dong, said his wholesale prices of the fruit currently stand at VND5,000-8,000 per kilogram, so he "barely make profits."

"In the coming time I will grow different trees and plants to gradually replace avocado," he said.

Fruit trader Nguyen Thanh Mai said many farmers who jumped to grow the 034 varietal a few years ago failed to adjust when the oversupply and low-quality provided by inexperienced growers caused it’s prices to drop.

That, in combination with the fact that demand has weakened during the economic downturn, has cut prices even more, according to experts.

Avocados 034 were first grown in Lam Dong in 2009, and then in other Central Highlands provinces. Its selling price once reached VND200,000 per kilogram. But it became so popular that too many farmers started growing it, leading to oversupply of the fruit.

Lam Dong currently has some 10,000 hectares of avocado of all kinds, with a quarter of the area dedicated to growing avocado 034.

The avocado 034-growing area in the four other central highlands provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kon Tum and Gia Lai has surged to tens of thousands of hectares, 7-8 times more than that five years ago.

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