Supermarkets are facing a shortage of the popular Hass avocado after Chilean shipments ended early when supplies ran out.

Unseasonally cold weather hit orchards across Chile last year, leading to the crop being reduced by as much as a third. The UK has received 4,500 to 5,000 tonnes this season compared with 7,200 tonnes last year. There had also been strong domestic demand, said the Chilean Hass Avocado Association.

Exports to the UK - which last year continued until March - have now ceased, so supermarkets will have to source alternative stock for the flourishing £100m avocado market when the last Chilean fruit is sold this month.

Hass, which represents a third of sales, is also grown in Israel, Spain, Greece and North America. Strong volumes of Chilean fruit are expected over the next year, however, as groves recover and new plantings come on stream.