Warm reception for Zimbabwean blueberries in South Africa before global trade starts

From Fresh Plaza | 28 May 2024

Overview of blueberries from Zimbabwe and South Africa, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on May 27, 2024.

The Zimbabwean blueberry export season commenced in mid-April, with the first products being shipped to South Africa where blueberry prices remain favourable. “The market has to be good to make it worthwhile for Zimbabwean growers,” says Rossouw Lambrechts, blueberry account manager at Delecta Fruit, which begins its blueberry campaign (much like its stone fruit campaign) with Zimbabwean fruit.

Most farms, located north of Harare, pack blueberries from April until September, a period that avoids the highly competitive South African and Peruvian export seasons.

undefined.undefined.undefined.03.Zimbabwe Fresh Blueberry Export Volume by Partner Cultivated Conventional
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The peak period for Zimbabwean blueberries is from the end of June through July when they are one of the few major suppliers globally, a market position on which Zimbabwean growers have effectively capitalized, Lambrechts observes.

Known for their high quality, Zimbabwean fruit are primarily flown out from Harare or Johannesburg. An increasing portion is also shipped to the UK or EU by sea via Cape Town harbour. Currently, with Morocco and Spain still at the height of their blueberry seasons, it makes sense for Zimbabwean growers to supply their blueberries to Delecta in South Africa. Here, they are sold to a diverse range of clients and prices are around 10% higher than the same period last year.

undefined.undefined.undefined.03.South Africa Fresh Blueberry Export Volume by Partner Cultivated Conventional 1
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Exports of Zimbabwean blueberries to the Northern Hemisphere are scheduled to start in weeks 22 or 23, coinciding with the initial output of the South African crop. Most of the early fruit is destined for Far Eastern markets, packaged in pre-packed punnets.

The Far East remains a top priority for Zimbabwean blueberries, with expectations that Zimbabwe will gain access to the Chinese market well before South Africa, potentially already by the next season.

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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