Peruvian blueberry season closes positively, despite challenges

From Fresh Plaza | 18 June 2024

Overview of blueberries from Peru in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 18, 2024.

The blueberry fresh 2023-2024 season in Peru closed positively, despite facing serious difficulties due to adverse weather conditions, mainly attributed to the El Niño phenomenon. Although high temperatures and heavy rainfall on the northern coast of the country severely affected the production of the fruit, this ended up being compensated by higher prices, closing the campaign positively according to

Despite the 23% drop in exported volume, the campaign closed with a 29% increase in the total exported value, reaching US$ 1,880 million. According to the Fresh Fruit portal, the increase was largely due to a 68% increase in the average price of Peruvian blueberries in the global market, a result of the global shortage of the product.

Despite the 23% drop in exported volume, the campaign closed with a 29% increase in the total exported value, reaching US$ 1,880 million.

From May 2023 to April 2024, the blueberry industry dealt with high temperatures and water stress in a scenario that was not exclusive to Peru, but also to other direct competitors such as Mexico, Chile and the United States, as their production was also reduced. .

The low production of other countries allowed the Peruvian exporters partially compensate for the decrease in volumes. Meanwhile, the diversification of markets towards destinations such as Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates also contributed to mitigating the impact on traditional markets.

For the next 2024-2025 campaign, a significant recovery is anticipated with export projections close to 300 thousand tons, representing a 32% increase in volume. This optimistic outlook is supported by a more stable climate at the beginning of the season and the incorporation of new crop fields to the export process.

Although prices could be affected by greater global supply, projections suggest that Peru could achieve record income, with exports estimated to be worth up to US$ 1,990 billion, 6% more than the previous season, indicates FreshFruit. For now, the United States remains the main market for Peru. But, it is noted that the constant growth of supply from Mexico and Colombia in this market represents a strong threat.

For the moment, Chile remains Peru’s biggest competitor in the US market. However, his campaign maintains the downward trend, which increased the general shortage and allowed an increase in prices.

It is worth mentioning that during the 2023-2024 campaign, Peru exported 128 thousand tons to the United States for a value of US$ 1,101 million. Although there was a 20% decrease in exported volume, the value grew by 44% thanks to a 79% increase in price, with an FOB average of US$8.57 per kilogram.

blueberry prices by hist

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

The reduction in supply also affected Europe. However, a large part of the new spaces were occupied by South African shipments, while problems in the Panama Canal prevented Peru from taking better advantage of the European shortage.

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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