We’re knee-deep in July, and the sweltering summer heat likely has you craving traditionally warm-weather foods like guacamole. But if you’ve been to the grocery store to stock up for your next pool party, you may have experienced sticker shock: Avocados are reportedly about twice as expensive as they were this same time last year.
The data may vary a bit from source to source, but it all has one thing in common: Avocados are definitely pricier. USA Today reports that the Department of Agriculture’s weekly price report pegged the national average for a Hass avocado at $2.10 on July 5, significantly steeper than they were on July 6 of last year when the government said the average was just $1.17. However, Rabobank Senior Analysist David Magana told the paper things were even worse than that: He said wholesale prices for midsized avocados from Mexico for the first week of July were 129 percent higher than they were in 2018 – $84.25 per 25-pound box compared to $37 last year. “This is the highest price for this time of the year in at least a decade, probably more,” he was quoted as saying.
That decade figure may not be a coincidence: Magana said part of the issue is that California had its smallest crop in over ten years, and we’re entering the lull where American harvests slow down before Mexican ones ramp up again. Thankfully, that’s only a few weeks away, so hopefully, these price spikes will start to ease up.
Of course, that “lull” is one of the prime times you want to be chowing down on the sunshine-loving fruit. But here’s one last piece of bad news: Your avocado obsession is also part of the problem. American and global demand for avocados simply doesn’t slow down. “Avocados are not only consumed now for Super Bowl or during Cinco de Mayo celebrations but year-round,” Magana added, resulting in “a supply-and-demand combination.” But on the bright side, though prices have gone up significantly, avocados are still relatively affordable: It’s not like you'll have to serve your pool party guests something more economical like caviar instead.
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