Peruvian blueberry prices double as production falls 

From Fresh Fruit Portal | 28 September 2023

Overview of blueberries from Peru in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on September 27, 2023.

As Peru’s blueberry season began this spring, the Peruvian Blueberry Producers Association (Proarandanos) warned of lower production volumes for the 2023-24 season. General Manager Luis Miguel Vegas declares that from the beginning of the campaign in May, until mid-July, Peru exported 7.127 tons of fresh fruit, 9% less than the same period last year.

Early projections suggested a high probability that the total volume exported for 2023-24 would fall by 10% to 15% year-on-year, mainly due to atypical weather conditions in Peru caused by the El Niño phenomenon. However, the industry is now warning of an even greater fall.

Alfredo Lira Chirif a veteran of the industry with 11 years of experience as the general manager of Agrícola Cerro Prieto, one of the main blueberry exporters in Peru, says:

“The drop in volume for the 2023/2024 season will be much greater than the 10% or 15% predicted by Proarándanos; the drop will be around 30% or 35% in volume, depending on how it develops up to December. I believe that what some agribusiness companies are going to do is extend the campaign until January, February, and March, taking advantage of this last cold period that we have left. In this way, they will try to get into the Chilean window, which ends in April.”

Lira notes, “This, which some agribusinesses in Peru have already been doing, could mean recovering a little volume, in order to finish the campaign with 20% or 25% less volume in April,  as long as there are no further rains due to the El Niño phenomenon.”


This decrease in production has caused a sharp increase in Peruvian blueberry prices.

“To date, prices are much higher than last year, they are at US$10, US$12 per kilo (2.2 pounds), which is about double the estimate. These prices will compensate growers for the drop in volume if they are maintained until the end of the season.”

blueberry prices by hist 2

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

When asked whether Peruvian blueberry producers should aim for higher volumes to remain market leaders or if it is better to have good prices because large volumes disrupt the market, Lira indicates, “Today, as things are, taking into account the $10 dollars per kilo, it is more profitable to have less volume and better prices than to have more volume and low prices.”

He adds, “So we are talking about invoices, meaning that good prices give companies a break in terms of margins, because they are increasing their profits, and some of them have high debt today. Therefore, this will help to lower the debt, to keep the companies healthy; a company with better financial health is what is needed now.

“So now there is a fall in production volumes, but this has proven positive for prices on the side of producers and exporters.”

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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