U.S./Canada arrivals buck trend for Chilean blueberry shipments
April 14, 2016

While Chilean blueberry exports dropped off by 1.3% this season, volume upticks were seen in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and South Korea.

In a season summary, the Chilean Blueberry Committee said 91,032 metric tons (MT) were exported in total, with the slight downturn caused by low temperatures and harvest delays, among other factors.

"There were better prices for frozen blueberries, especially at the end of the season, and the effect of fumigation for Lobesia botrana on arrival for organic blueberries in the United States was another reason," said the committee's executive director Andrés Armstrong.

In terms of markets, the committee highlighted a clear change in the growth trends seen in recent years, with shipments to Europe down 7% and Asia purchasing 14% less fruit.

In contrast, there was growth to Chile's main markets of the U.S. and Canada, rising by a rate of 3%

Volume changes varied country-by-country within Asia, with South Korea and Taiwan arrivals jumping 21%, while Japan's imports declined 5% and China's arrivals were down 21%.

In terms of Europe, the U.K. became the main point of entry with growth of 3%, overtaking the Netherland's which recorded a decline of 16%.

With heightened competition from Peru and Mexico in North America, as well as from Spain and Morocco in Europe, Armstrong highlighted a "more drastic" change was needed in Chile to keep quality and condition consistent throughout the whole season.

Fresh Fruit Portal