- Avocado prices spiked 34% Tuesday, their biggest daily increase in more than a decade, Bloomberg reported.
- Importers stocked up on avocados as President Trump continues threatened to close the southern border if Mexico did not halt the entry of undocumented migrants into the US.
- Americans imported more than 2 billion lbs. of avocados last year, most of them from Mexico, according to the Hass Avocado Board.
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Mexican avocado prices saw their biggest single day increase in a decade Tuesday as buyers worried about President Donald Trump’s continuing threats to seal the US border with its southern neighbour.
A complete shutdown, meant to curb the entry of undocumented immigrants, would block trade with Mexico, and have serious economic consequences for both countries.
Hass avocado prices jumped 34% on Tuesday, the most significant one-day surge since April 13, 2009, Bloomberg reported.
Roland Fumasi, vice president and senior analyst at Rabobank, told Bloomberg that prices probably spiked because importers bought more avocados to prepare for potential border issues.
“Avocado prices could easily double or triple if we shut down the border,” he said.
The super-food has found widespread popularity among Americans, and is a staple of brunch tables across the US. Last year, the US imported more than 2 billion lbs. of avocados, according to the Hass Avocado Board. About 78% of those came from Mexico, primarily from the the heartland of Hass production, the Michoacán region.
Steve Barnard, the president Mission Produce, the world’s largest avocado distributor and grower, told Reuters that Americans would run out of avocados in three weeks if they could not depend on Mexican imports anymore.
But a shutdown of the southern border could mean more than just an avocado shortage.
Nearly 50% of all imported vegetables, and 40% of imported fruit come from Mexico, according to the US Department of Agriculture. This means tomatoes, onions, shallots, bell peppers, squash, chilli peppers, and cucumbers would also be affected.
Trump last week threatened to close the entire southern border if Mexico did not stop all illegal immigration into the US. The country is currently facing a surge of Central American migration.
The president eased his threats on Tuesday, saying he was pleased with Mexico’s efforts. He said he considered a partial shutdown that would only stop foot traffic at certain crossings, for example.
But Trump maintained that he would be willing to risk a “negative impact on the economy” if Mexico does not keep up its steps to halt migration, or if the US Congress does not agree on a border security deal.
“Trading is very important, the borders are very important, but security is what is most important to me,” he said at at the press conference.
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