Agronometrics Shorts: Despite a Steep Drop in Exports in 2023, Long-Term Outlook for Peruvian Blueberries Remains Strong – USDA

By Agronometrics | 6 March 2024

Peru’s blueberry export volumes plunged in 2023 as a result of warmer weather conditions, especially in the principal production areas of northern Peru, which severely limited flowering between March and October. According to Peru’s National Meteorology and Hydrology Service (SENAMHI), in 2023, Peru saw its warmest winter in 63 years. According to the Blueberry Annual report published by the USDA, Peruvian blueberry production for the marketing year (MY) 2023/24 (spanning from May 2023 to April 2024) is anticipated to attain 195,000 metric tons (MT), with exports projected to hit 165,000 MT. This reflects a 43% decrease compared to the export levels reached in 2022/23. However, based on our own calculations, the decrease in exports might be lower than 43%.  According to official data, 135,000 jobs are generated from this industry, with 60 percent of them belonging to women. Specialty, highly skilled harvesting crews are paid more for fruits heading to higher price markets. Due lower productivity in the MY 2023/24 season, the industry required just a third of the normal labor force according to FAS contacts, further negatively impacting the economies of Peru’s northern regions. Despite the underwhelming performance of the MY 2023/24 season, Peru remains conducive to rapid testing of new blueberry varieties, with an average testing period of eight months. Currently, companies are testing high performance varieties with a wide range of weather and shipping resilience characteristics.

Blueberry Volumes Prices

blueberry volumes by his 32

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

blueberry prices by hist 21

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Written by Sarah Ilyas

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