Fresh Chilean Blueberry Exports Set to be 8% Lower due to Production Shifts — Tridge
Fresh Chilean Blueberry Exports Set to be 8% Lower due to Production Shifts - Tridge
Exports of fresh Chilean blueberries are projected to fall by 8% to 98 thousand mt for the 2022/23 export campaign that…
According to the Chilean Blueberry Committee, the export volume estimated for the 2022–23 season had declined 8% from last season, when exports reached 107 thousand mt. The decline is attributed to the fact that Chilean producers have agreed on a better selection of varieties for fresh consumption and the development of new ones that are able to reach the US market in better conditions. However, the decrease in volume might also respond to the shrink in the window for Chilean blueberries in the EU due to large volumes and a more extended supply from Peru.
The Blueberry industry in Chile is undergoing an extensive variety renewal, with some varieties being shifted into frozen exports and other industrial uses. At the same time, growers are planting new varieties with better post-harvest conditions, allowing the fruit to arrive in better conditions and full flavor characteristics to the main long-distance markets like the US and Europe.
Additionally, the industry is also strengthening logistics through new programs like the Blueberry Express, which will begin in Week 49 and continue throughout the 2022–23 season. This new service will take less than two weeks of transit time to the US market and will guarantee the maintenance of the cold chain, which is crucial for protecting fruit quality.
The varietal renewal and the logistic development are significant signs of a US market preference for Chilean exporters. As logistical difficulties last season were the most critical barrier for Chilean blueberry exports, Chile has decided to strengthen its more important route to the US.
Blueberry exporters from Chile have chosen to focus this season on its main developing market with improved varieties for the fresh sector and the development of new varieties dedicated to the frozen and processed sectors. According to the Chilean Blueberry Committee, the 2021/22 season resulted in more organic blueberry fruit being used in the frozen market, reducing Chilean fresh blueberry organic exports by 24% YoY and conventional fresh exports by 6%. Therefore, producers have noticed that more organic blueberries for the frozen industry are needed.
Another reason for Chilean exporters to focus on the US market is the fact that its direct competitor, Peru, has gradually produced early varieties. According to Fernando Dupuis, Tridge’s Distribution Manager in the Netherlands, by W40, European markets had begun to receive large volumes of blueberries from Peru, which has impacted European markets. “ This has a significant impact on the Chilean strategy for the 2022/23 blueberry season, which will be limited to a few weeks because the window has shrunk “, he mentioned.
With a more limited window in the European market, continuous logistics constraints, and a downward price trend due to large Peruvian volumes, Chilean exporters have decided to focus on the US market.