Aug 17, 2018: Kenya has replaced South Africa to become the largest exporter of avocados from Africa in 2017, according to trade data from the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Kenya exported a record volume of 51,507 tonnes in 2017 against South Africa’s 43,492 tonnes and became the 11th largest avocado exporter in the world.

Kenyan fresh produce supplier and exporter, Selina Wamucii, said that this was largely due to the high growth rate in avocado volumes from the country and the continued access to new markets over the past six years.

A 10 percent growth rate and a massive depreciation in South Africa’s stake in the avocado market (-25 percent) allowed the East African country to overtake South Africa as the number one avocado exporter on the continent.

As the new top performer, Kenya holds 1.3 percent of the total world volume, with South Africa following at 1.1 percent – a significant decline from the 1.6 percent held in 2016.

In 2015-16, Kenya’s 20 percent growth margin still exceeded South Africa’s 19 percent, although South Africa remained ahead of Kenya in terms of volumes. According to Wamucii, a growth rate of 20 to 30 percent is expected for Kenyan avocado exports in future.

In 2010, South Africa banned imports of avocados from Kenya, citing quality concerns. The ban, which was revoked in July this year, lasted for close to a decade.

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