In the 2017-2018 season, the blueberry sector exported a record volume of 110 thousand tons and achieved better results than in the previous year, even though the effects of a lower and fluctuating dollar will have to be evaluated.
Andres Armstrong, the Executive Director of Asoex’s Chilean Blueberry Committee, said there had been a 6% increase in volumes and a normal increase in weekly shipments, and that this season was definitely ending more positively than the previous exercise.
“The main problem last season was that the harvest started almost four weeks in advance so the markets weren’t ready to receive high volumes of our fruit so early. Fortunately that didn’t happen this season. The campaign developed within normal parameters, and in a more orderly manner, even though there was an increase in production in Chile, Peru, and Mexico,” said the representative of the Committee.
“Since this season was more balanced, the fruit was better distributed in the United States. There wasn’t an accumulation of fruit stocks, and the blueberries reached the supermarkets at the right time to complement the programs. In addition, we were able to conduct promotional actions to better sell our fruit this season. In addition, formats and consumer prices were more stable, which had a positive impact on demand. Furthermore, the fruit had a better quality and taste this season, as the sector is working hard to improve these characteristics, through better management, varietal replacement, and use of greater technologies,” Armstrong said.
Ronald Bown, the President of ASOEX, said: “Chile’s fresh fruit industry is growing thanks to the work of producers, exporters, and to the support of the public sector. It is a sector that works hard to comply with the highest health standards, innovates in technologies, improves its production, packaging, and logistics processes, so that its fruits arrive in the best conditions to their different destination markets. That’s what these new historic blueberry shipments record consolidates. We are the main exporter of blueberries in the world, and this type of results allow us to continue consolidating this position.”
Markets: Europe grows the most
The North American market (the United States and Canada) continues to be the most important market for the Chilean blueberry, as it accounts for 64% of total shipments. It is followed by Europe with 24%, Asia with 12%, Latin America, with 0.2 % and the Middle East with 0.1%.
The European market achieved the highest growth this season, as it grew by 12%, followed by Asia with 5% and North America with 4%, stated the representative of the Committee. This growth in Europe reflected the increase in consumption in countries where blueberry consumption was relatively new, such as France, Italy, or Russia, he stated.
Chile exported 70,461 tons of blueberries to the North American market, 25,967 tons to Europe; 13,150 tons to Asia; 190 tons to Latin America, and 124 tons to the Middle East.
This was the first time that the Committee recorded organic blueberry export statistics in its Crop Report, which will allow the sector to have a better understanding of this category’s situation, and to know the availability of this fruit in the international markets. “This season, Chile exported 10 thousand tons of organic fresh blueberries, which accounts for 9.1% of total blueberry,” concluded the Executive Director.
Source: Fresh Plaza