Donald Trump’s Threat to Close Mexico Border Sends Avocado Prices Soaring

A gauge of Mexican avocado prices surged the most in almost a decade as buyers weighed the latest rhetoric from Donald Trump on his threat to close the border with Mexico, the biggest supplier of the fruit.

The Hass price from Michoacan, the heartland of Mexico’s avocado production, jumped 34% on Tuesday. That’s the biggest one-day gain since April 13, 2009. Prices will keep rising if Trump makes good on his threat, said Roland Fumasi, vice president and senior analyst at Rabobank.

“Avocado prices could easily double or triple if we shut down the border,” Fumasi said by telephone.

The U.S. is more reliant on Mexico for avocados this year due to a California heatwave that delayed harvest. (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)MARK RALSTON AFP/Getty Images
Mark Ralston—AFP/Getty Images

Prices probably spiked as importers boosted purchases ahead of any potential border issues, Fumasi said. Additionally, a heatwave last year in California delayed the harvest, making the U.S. even more reliant on Mexican supplies. “Because California is late and it’s a small crop, Mexico is accounting for nearly all of our avocados,” he said.

Mexican avocados make up 75% to 80% of U.S. consumption, and California for about 16%, according to data from the Haas Avocado Board. Chile and Peru supply most of the rest.

Once mainly confined to dips and salads, avocado is now seen as a super-food thanks to its nutritional characteristics and smooth texture. Some people even eat their pits roasted.

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