Avocado prices surge to record high due to reduced harvests

By Elliot Bullman

If you're a lover of guacamole,chocolate avocado shakesor mashed avocado on toast, get ready to pay more for your fix of the green fruit.

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Avocado prices have risen to a record high due to surging global demand and reduced harvests from major producers Mexico, Peru and California.

A 10-kilogram box of Hass avocados from Mexico's major wholesale producer sells for around 530 pesos ($27.89). That is more than double last year's price, according to Bloomberg data.

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Analysts expect prices to remain at "elevated levels" after a growers strike in Mexico and drought in California led to a severe supply crunch last year.

Meanwhile, California production is forecast to be down about 44% this year. Peru has also downgraded this year's crop forecast following severe flooding in its southern growing regions.

Food trend

Avocado consumption has grown dramatically after the fruit'staste and health propertiesturned it into a major food trend. The avocado has the highest protein and oil content of any fruit. It is also believed to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

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The US is the world's largest consumer and importer of avocados, but the "butter fruit" is also rapidly gaining fans in China.

Avocado exports from Latin America to China are growing by about 250% a year,according to the Financial Times.

Major US restaurant chains have been affected. Subway was forced to stop serving fresh avocado on their sandwiches while Chipotle Mexican Grill said it squeezed their bottom-line.

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