Chilean blueberry exports could increase next season

Published on 12 November 2019

Things are good for blueberry producers in the South American country and could repeat the good result of the previous campaign.

After a successful season in which the summer weather allowed a good production of high-caliber fruits, Chilean blueberry exporters could repeat the dish between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, specifically between November and March, a period in which harvest and export is concentrated. This time, an increase in planted areas will contribute to an increase that, by the way, expands capacity permanently.

For this year, a similar increase is projected, based on an estimated 4.5% increase in production, which would lead to sending 115,000 tons of fresh blueberry, compared to 110,000 in the 2017-2018 campaign. In general terms, according to Blueberries Consulting, plantations have increased by 2,500 hectares, which has reached a total of 18,374.

This increase would be absorbed by the main markets in the world, which concentrate the bulk of purchases. The following table shows the predominance of the European market, which uses the Dutch port of Rotterdam as an entry point for the mainland, China and Australia. However, growing within the United States, where Chile is the main source of imported blueberries, is a pending challenge, given local competition and sanitary requirements.

Overall, the healthy trend has raised the demand for blueberries around the world. The fruit has a high content of antioxidants that fight premature aging and has a low amount of calories, this added to an even greater value if it is certified as organic, so the participation of this type is increasingly large.

Consumption by high value markets leads to a considerable portion of shipments being made by air, so that the fruit arrives with greater freshness. In the following table, you can see the participation of each medium used. Likewise, the regional market also supplies Chilean blueberries, although its size is quite smaller (Peru, the main destination, has a weight of less than 2%).

The opportunities are given so that Chilean blueberry producers and exporters continue to take advantage of the appetite for these berries. Companies must be focused on productivity and quality, as well as demand analysis to maintain the right balance.

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