Peruvian blueberry exports took a big hit in the first half of 2020, with their value falling by 48% year-on-year to US$44.8m, according to export association ADEX.
The organization said that the decline from exports of US$85.4m registered from January through June the previous year was due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, lower prices, and competition with Mexico.
ADEX said that Peru's main blueberry market, the U.S., imported significantly higher volumes of the fruit from Mexico, which is able to offer much lower prices due to its proximity to the market.
In the first five months of the year alone, Mexico sent US$242.9m to the U.S.
The organization pointed out that the year-on-year decline in exports in the first half of this year comes on the back of two years of impressive growth.
The country notched a 260% uptick from January through June 2018, and a 93% rise in 2019. Peruvian blueberry exports to the U.S. in the first half of 2020 totaled US$25.2m, which represents a 56% share of total exports, but a 58% reduction from 2019.
In second place came the Netherlands, with exports rising by 30% to US$13.3m. The U.S. and the Netherlands together receive 86% of Peru's blueberry exports. The rest of the top five markets were made up of China, the U.K., and Brazil, to which the value of exports dropped by 10%, 75% and 17% respectively.
The largest exporters were Camposol, Hortifrut - Perú, Hass Peru, Agrícola Santa Azul, Agrovisión Perú, Hortifrut-Tal , Blueberries Peru, HFE Berries Peru, Agrícola Cerro Prieto y Sociedad Agrícola Drokasa. Peru is also forecasting a huge lift in the volume of blueberry exports in the 2020-21 season.