Avocadoes hard hit by hail

Hail storms in Limpopo’s avocado-growing areas could affect the availability and, therefore, the prices of avocados in 2011, according to Rudolf Badenhorst, SA Subtropical Fruit Growers Association industry affairs manager.

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The crop could be down by as much as 30%, he said. Losses were widespread, but there was extensive damage in the Tzaneen, Levubu and Hazyview (Kiepersol) areas.Major producers like Westfalia experienced 80% damage, said Agri SA deputy president Dr Theo de Jager.Preliminary estimates indicate that the export crop might be down to around 7,5 million 4kg cartons, compared to 11,9 million cartons in 2010, with the local market down to about 3,5 million cartons compared to 5,1 million in 2010.