McDaniel Fruit adds summer Peruvian avocado production
To complement both its San Diego County area and Peruvian production during the summer months, Fallbrook, CA-based McDaniel Fruit Co. has acquired significant acreage in California’s more northern regions.
“We have acquired a significant amount of acreage this year,” said Rankin McDaniel Sr., president of the longtime avocado grower, shipper, packer, importer and distributor. “We have doubled or tripled our volume up north.”
Of course, “up north” in California still refers to the southern half of the state. McDaniel was referring to the avocado production region that that includes Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. “We have additional production in Ventura, Oxnard, Carpinteria and Goleta,” he said, ticking off the list of towns associated with that production area. “This year that won’t mean that we will have California fruit any longer into the year, but it will mean that we have more fruit during the peak June, July and August period. That’s exciting for us.”
That is also when McDaniel Fruit brings in avocados from Peru. “Our first shipment from Peru is coming in this week,” he said on May 24. “The quality is excellent, and it is coming into a nice market. We are not anticipating any bumps in our Peru program.”
McDaniel noted that total volume of Peruvian avocados shipped to the United States is predicted to be 20-30 percent greater than last season. He doesn’t dispute that number but said McDaniel Fruit is expecting to import about the same volume as it did last year. He believes there will be a split market this year for Peruvian fruit with one f.o.b. price — a good market price — given for program customers, and a value spot market price quoted for new customers in the attempt to garner more market share for the South American product. “The program price for Peruvian fruit is going to be good,” said McDaniel. “We will have to see how it plays out for the spot market fruit.”
Overall, McDaniel said the market price for California, Mexico and Peru fruit with pre-determined homes this summer should be solid. It is undisputed that California’s production is down with the projected forecast being decreased even further in the past couple of weeks. McDaniel said lack of rain has resulted in a smaller size profile, which means more fruit in each box and reduced total tonnage. It also has meant a very strong market for California fruit in the mid-$40s range for the most popular 48-size avocado. Fruit from Mexico is trading in the $35 to $40 range with Peruvian fruit starting at the low end of that range.
Photo: Rankin McDaniel Sr.