Avocados are around $5.99 each in Whangarei supermarkets, but the cost of the popular fruit is expected to ease as the new 2016-17 season harvest begins this month, weather permitting.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular told The Country current high prices for avocados were for fruit at the tail end of the season.

"You wouldn't get asparagus for $1.99 at this time of the year either," she said.

Ms Scoular pointed out only New Zealand-grown avocados are sold in this country and none are frozen.


"They are stored on the tree."

Prices for avocados will come down when harvesting of the predicted bumper 2016-17 crop begins later this month.

In the meantime, the popularity of the South American-origin fruit has produced record-breaking 2015-16 domestic sales of $41 million, with end-of-season results including exports of $134 million almost matching the $135 million posted for the previous season despite a much lower crop.

"Five years ago the New Zealand market achieved between $15million and $20million annually, without ever getting much above that. This year's return of $41million is 25per cent above last year's return of $31.8million and shows year on year growth of 17per cent since 2011," Ms Scoular said.

Avocado production has irregular swings in volume. This year 4.2million trays were sold, versus 7million trays sold the year before.

Of the 4.2m trays, 2.6m trays were exported, 1.2m trays were sold as fresh in New Zealand and 380,000 trays were processed into avocado oil and other products.

The New Zealand avocado industry aims to quadruple sales to $280million and triple productivity by 2023.

New Zealand produces just 2 per cent of the global supply but is the ninth largest international avocado exporter.

There are more than 4000 hectares of avocado trees planted in New Zealand, primarily in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.