Blueberry prices are historically high

From Fresh Plaza | 17 October 2023

Overview of blueberries in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on October 17, 2023.

“As the South American blueberry season unfolds, an intriguing set of factors are driving prices to historic highs in the global market,” says Luciano Fiszman with Gourmet Trading Company. “As a result of El Niño, Peru’s volumes are significantly lower this season, causing ripple effects throughout the industry.” Fiszman provides an update on how the different blueberry growing countries in South America are managing the challenges and how importers and distributors are navigating these conditions.


Starting with Peru, the country is the most significant blueberry grower globally. However, year to date production volumes are down 50 percent due to the immense impact of El Niño. “The weather pattern, which includes warmer temperatures than normal in the fall and winter, has led to a notably poor bloom in some varieties and regions.” It has caused a shortage in the Peruvian blueberry crop, resulting in rising prices and uncertainty in the marketplace. Nevertheless, Peru remains the dominant player this time of year.


Peru’s shortage is offering opportunities for Argentina. “Favorable weather conditions, lower growing and harvesting costs, decent quality, and most importantly better pricing, have led to an increase in export shipments,” said Fiszman. “Argentina is helping alleviate the shortage caused by Peru and the country is poised for a promising season.”

blueberry prices by hist 4

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)


While Mexico’s primary window is the spring timeframe, the country produces blueberries almost year-round in different regions. “Right now, Mexico’s share in blueberry supplies is small, but steady and the country provides a consistent supply to the market.” Mexico’s proximity to the US market makes it the most natural supplier. “Growers are tirelessly chasing the spot market and the fight for blue fruit can be upsetting,” Fiszman said.


Chile has a well-established blueberry industry and diverse growing regions. The country was the most dominant off-season region for many years, until Peru took over in the past few years. Chile is expected to play an important role in bridging the supply gap that is caused by the Peruvian situation. While the country is in the market later in the season, it provides the biggest chance for reasonable volumes this offshore campaign. “Gourmet Trading is known for its solid relationships with growers, and we are at the forefront of bringing in volume from Chile this season,” commented Fiszman.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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