• US consumers would run out of avocados in three weeks if Donald Trump makes good on his threat to close down the US–Mexico border.

    Trump said on Friday that there was a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States.

    'We're one community': border cities fear Trump's crackdown

    But a complete shutdown would disrupt millions of legal border crossings in addition to asylum seekers, as well as billions of dollars in trade, about $137bn of which is in food imports.

    From the avocados on avocado toast, to the limes and tequila in margaritas, the US is heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables and alcohol to meet consumer demand.

    Nearly half of all imported US vegetables and 40% of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Avocados would run out in three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world.

    “You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100% of the avocados in the US right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” said Barnard.

    Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, a consultancy specializing in Latin American agricultural issues and trade, said that a border closure would inevitably hit consumers.

    “We’re absolutely going to see higher prices. This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”

    The US and Mexico trade about $1.7bn in goods daily, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, which said closing the border would be “an unmitigated economic debacle” that would threaten 5m American jobs.

    The effects of a shutdown would run both ways.

    Mexico is the largest importer of US exports of refined fuels like diesel and gasoline, some of which moves by rail. It is unclear if rail terminals would be affected by closures.

    Mexico's avocado army: how one city stood up to the drug cartels

    As changing palates have increased demand for fresh produce, and a greater variety of it, the United States has increasingly come to depend on Mexico to meet that need.

    Imports have nearly tripled since 1999. In that period, Mexico has gone from supplying less than a third of imported produce to 44% today.

    In addition to avocados, the majority of imported tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries and raspberries come from Mexico. While there are other producers of these goods globally, opening those trade channels would take time, said Ganley.

  • Coffee exporters in one of the world’s top producers are facing losses as they struggle to get their hands on beans, with weak prices dissuading farmers from selling.

  • Every year in the United States alone, a serious and dangerous repeat offender in the world of food poisoning sickens 1,600 people and kills 260 more, often from just a handful of outbreaks. The culprit? Listeria.

  • All eyes in the kiwifruit sector are now on the southern hemisphere, which is now slowly taking over the world market. The first New Zealand kiwis are already at sea.

  • You probably didn’t know it, but we are experiencing a trucking boom. According to recent sales data, June 2018 was the biggest month for Class 8 big rig trucks sales… ever! And this is a good thing. Booming truck sales mean a very healthy economy and emission reductions. 

  • Weekly Updated Agri Trends of ABSA -Local prices this week were down on average for all commodities.

  • China may be exploring ending the anti-dumping investigation into US DDGS imports after the ministry of commerce responded to a request from the US Grains Council to review the current situation, market sources have told Agricensus Tuesday.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its April 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, raised from March its forecast carryover of wheat and corn but slightly lowered its soybean forecast.

  • As Bernadette Hall looks out onto her farm, a small smile creeps onto her face. "Not much in life is more beautiful than that, eh?" she asked.

  • Global wine output rose to near-record highs in 2018 after a sharp rebound from a poor harvest the previous year, though consumption stopped growing, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said on Thursday.

  • A year ago, economic activity was accelerating in almost all regions of the world. One year later, much has changed. 

  • In the 1990s, some researchers observed that French people—despite eating lots of saturated fat—tended to have low rates of heart disease. Dubbing this phenomenon the “French paradox,” the researchers speculated that regular wine consumption may be protecting their hearts from disease.

  • he growing appetite for 'conservation holidays' has shone a light on the dark – and poorly regulated – industry of lion farming, where felines are destined not to be 'released into the wild' - but to be shot by trophy hunters and their bones exported to Asia for use in traditional medicine.

  • African swine fever is an incredibly contagious disease affecting pigs and wild boars. It almost always kills, and quickly: Mortality rates are about 100%, with most pigs dead within 10 days. (It doesn’t affect humans.)

  • The total number of farms in the United States declined 3% from 2012 to 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Census of Agriculture released Thursday, April 11. Since the 1997 Census of Agriculture, the number of farms in the U.S. has declined 7.8%.
  • The herbicide glyphosate will continue to be used by farmers globally for the foreseeable future unless a suitable and safe alternative is found, despite the recent rise in public concern on the safety of its use, market sources told Agricensus.

  • As the North American market prepares for the transition to Southern Hemisphere citrus, Capespan North America’s CEO Mark Greenberg says the fresh fruit supplier is approaching the period with “reasonable expectations and with moderate optimism”.

  • With the 2018-19 Chilean cherry campaign now over, exporters say that they received higher average prices in the Chinese market despite another high-volume crop.

  • Prices for organic food-grade hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat and durum in the February-March period advanced from quoted prior reporting periods and from year-ago levels, as did organic soybean values, according to Mercaris, the organic and non-GMO trading platform and market information company.

  • South Africa is one of the world’s major avocado producers, coming in at 12th place on the global scale. The country’s export market could soon be worse for wear however, as some countries and cafés are banning the green subtropical fruit.