According to a crop report by the executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee, Andrés Armstrong, and iQonsulting, the new projection of blueberry exports for the current season should reach 80,000 tons, an 8.5 percent decrease compared to the previous season, as reported by Frutas de Chile.
“This season has been particularly difficult to predict the volumes exported, where the weather conditions led to a slower development of the crops, to then have very concentrated peak weeks, and finally, the end of the season looks more extended than the previous season. Thus, we expect to reach around 80 thousand tons of shipments, which means 8.5% less than what was exported last season, and a volume very close to the 82 thousand tons projected at the beginning of the season, but higher. to the last revision of the estimated volumes which stood at 73,500 tons. We will close a season with a better varietal mix and with better quality of fruit, which has allowed us to improve our competitiveness in the destination markets,” said Armstrong said.
Likewise, he added the importance of the industry focusing on sending the best quality of fruit to close a season that allows to project Chile as a competitive player in the markets for the coming seasons. While also highlighting that this season there has been an increase in air shipments by nearly 200 percent, which is a clear sign of a low supply for the demand for this product for some weeks.
So far in the development of this 2023-2024 fiscal year (until week 3), the accumulated export volume reaches 61,664 tons, this is 15.6 percent less than last season for the same period.
Regarding destinations, the US continues to be the main market with the reception of around 24,000 tons, followed by Europe, Canada, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, in that order.
“Chile had a peak export period for fresh blueberries with volumes above estimates and from week 4-2024 we should see a decrease in weekly volumes,” commented Armstrong.
Regarding the harvests, harvests in the Central-South zone, the area of greatest export, are close to ending. “This area is the one that contributes the volume of the peak period. Between week 50 and 3, an average of 8,885 tons were shipped per week and weeks 51 and 2 marked the highest shipments, because both were swollen due to the rescheduling of vessels. from the previous week”.
Meanwhile, the fruit from the southern zone, the last part of the Chilean season, “has already started its harvests. This presents a slight delay and is expected to have a slower end and therefore, longer than that observed in the season. last year, whose end was abrupt. These good conditions could allow some more fruit to be exported fresh,” he concluded.