Chilean blueberries with potential in new destinations

Published on 25 June 2020

As part of the agro-export sector, the export of Chilean blueberries has maintained a good performance. New destinations and those that are still smaller in scale have potential.

Chile has stood out in the southern hemisphere as a pioneer and leader in the production and export of fruit. This position continues to be consolidated by blueberry producers, who have been fortunate to belong to a segment of the economy (perhaps the only one) that has not stopped due to the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus. In parallel, smaller-scale destinations in Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe offer development opportunities that can complement the product's resilience to challenging market conditions.

In the middle of everything, blue fruit is revaluing in the world, especially in the United States, where there is an average annual consumption of 800 grams per person, according to the portal Blueberriesconsulting.com. It should be noted that it is a seasonal product so that commercial windows are used to supply the northern hemisphere when production falls in that part of the planet.

The following tables show the recent performance of the Chilean blueberry export, with a temporary drop that is not alarming and could recover by maintaining good production and effective commercial work.

The distribution of destinations points out that it is a product popularized throughout the world. The presence in the United States, the Netherlands (gateway for agricultural products to Europe through the port of Rotterdam), and China demonstrate that both traditional high-value markets, as well as large-scale alternative markets and less consumer culture like China, have been supplied in large quantities.

However, it should be noted that there is a temporary obstacle to the shipment of merchandise: an important part of the cargo transported by air is carried on commercial flights, currently restricted by border closures. As an example, the note by Blueberries Consulting highlights that in the case of Argentina, it has tried to manage using humanitarian flights as a means of bringing products closer to the markets.

The following tables detail the participation of the means of transport used, as well as the details of the main destinations and types of products corresponding to exports by air. Not surprisingly, this is a crucial medium for fresh produce, which requires less travel time to stay in optimal condition.

But air shipments are not the only relevant component to capture value. The smaller or emerging markets in the Middle East, East Asia, and Europe have high development potential. Ladiscusion.cl portal cites a Prochile statement stressing that the Middle East's food dependency has allowed demand to remain in destinations such as Dubai (part of the UAE), even despite the reduction in tourism.

In general, promotional work is essential, and the fact that the global economy is going through a halt seems alien to the work of the people in charge of developing markets. They have been fortunate to find markets that continue to demand their products, and they have the opportunity to support the country's growth at critical moments like the current one. The following table highlights the evolution of exports to some of these parts.

In general terms, the agro-industrial sector must continue with the support of the government and the enthusiasm of the producers. What happened to the blueberry is an indication that it would be a resistant alternative to the most extreme situations of the global economy, and that the effort of the commercial offices to take advantage of the commercial opening and the good international relations has paid off.

For more information on Chilean blueberry exports, you can visit the Veritrade portal.
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