The 2023 blueberry season in Peru represents a stage of learning for the industry, especially in the largest exporting areas of the country.
“With an atypical climate, with temperatures of approximately five degrees Celsius above historical averages, it had an impact on the production of some varieties such as Ventura, the main variety grown in our country,” commercial consultant Aurora Bazán told Agraria.
Bazán said about two-thirds of Peruvian berry production corresponds to the Ventura and Biloxi varieties, but it is projected that this quota will progressively decrease to give way to more resistant and better tasting varieties that will come from the various genetic programs that are being developed in the country.
The drop in volumes exported from Peru is tangible in all destinations: to North America, which represents 50 percent of exports, until week 43, shows a decrease of 54 percent in terms of tons shipped. To Europe, meanwhile, which represents 29 percent of exports, a drop of 53 percent is revealed in the same period. For its part, for Asia, which concentrates 20 percent of exports, a decrease of 41 percent is seen.
The case of Latin America and the Middle East is also considered, although they represent less than 1.5 percent of total shipments. Until week 43 of the current campaign, they showed a decrease of 49 and 159 percent, respectively, in shipments.
The panorama, however, as has been outlined in other information, has achieved a positive aspect: “The lower supply generated a significant rebound in blueberry prices, compared to the prices that, in recent years, had been decreasing,” she added.
Bazán also reviewed the case of South Africa, another important producer of blueberries, whose harvest has ended in the north and began in the Western Cape. According to her, in week 44, it exported 9,622 tons, compared to 14,200 tons the previous year in the same period.
“This contraction is due to the heavy rains that occurred, but it is certainly unknown if the loss is 50 percent or less. South Africa continues to send larger volumes by air, which is causing some tension, but we will see what happens in the month of December and this will depend on the cargoes that arrive from Peru and Chile,” she concluded.