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Peruvian asparagus exports expected to increase by 16% in 2021

Peruvian asparagus looks to rebound in 2021.

In 2019, asparagus harvests amounted to 367,000 tons. But the following year, it fell 4 percent due to a labor shortage during the pandemic lockdown imposed by the Peruvian government.

However, in 2021, production is expected to rebound and reach 370,000 tons, an increase of 5 percent when compared to the previous season, and exports are estimated to increase by 16 percent to 138,000 tons, as reported by the USDA.

Mild temperatures and sparse rainfall make the Peruvian coastal region an optimal environment for asparagus cultivation. Peru is one of the few countries in the world where high quality asparagus is harvested all year round, with 40 percent of the harvest taking place between September and December.

Thanks to better technology, more efficient fertigation systems, and a deeper understating of the commodity, the average yield has grown substantially with the average yield being about 14 tons per hectare and the more efficient growers yielding up to 20 tons per hectare.

In 2020 there were 32,000 asparagus hectares harvested.

Source: Peruvian Customs Agency (SUNAT)

The Peruvian asparagus market is composed of two sectors:

  • green asparagus, making up about 80 percent of the total yield, is packed into 5kg cartons or frozen for export to the U.S. and
  • white asparagus is processed in canned or jars for export to Europe.

The main market for fresh asparagus is the U.S. accounting for 75 percent, followed by Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands, each accounting for 6 percent.

Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services