Peru forecasts blueberry exports to grow by a quarter
July 15, 2021

Peru is expecting to see a 25 percent increase in blueberry volume exported year-on-year, industry association ProArandanos told FreshFruitPortal.

The Association of Producers and Exporters of Peru (ProArandanos) is estimating fresh blueberry exports to be around 200,000 metric tons (MT) this season.

Destination markets are expected to be at 49 percent to the U.S., 32 percent to Europe, 17 percent to China and 2 percent to other markets.

"By destination, a 22 percent increase is estimated in shipments to the U.S., a 20 percent rise to Europe, 111 percent rise to China and 12 percent to other markets," President of ProArandanos, Daniel Bustamante said.

He said that since last season companies have had to adapt which has been challenging, but the Peruvian industry benefitted as it had time to prepare and take action before the harvest season.

"The strategy is to continue opening new markets and to continue positioning the Peruvian blueberry as a quality, reliable, environmentally sustainable product that generates positive impacts for social and economic development."

This year, from August 23 to 25, ProArandanos will be holding, in coordination with the Internation Blueberry Organization (IBO), the IBO Summit in a 100% virtual format.

The three-day program will include presentations by the most renowned specialists in the industry worldwide, as well as virtual visits to various fields in Peru to learn about the operations that have led the country to become the main exporter of blueberries worldwide.

Daniel Bustamante will speak at the Summit about the growth projections for the 2021-22 season, innovation in varieties and analysis of the blueberry industry in general.

Innovation and Markets

According to ProArandanos, during 2020 there was a total of 46 different varieties of blueberries, a significant increase of 13 varieties in 2016 and 30 in 2019.

In terms of export volumes, the U.S. plans to maintain its spot as the main destination with 105,000MT. Shipments to Europe are projected to reach 65,000MT.

Bustamante said: "For the 2021-22 season, the initial estimates show shipments to China around 30,000MT, a large increase given that last season only 16,000MT were exported."

This year, ProArandanos plans to reach new markets in Asia such as Korea, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam, however, it depends on the phytosanitary requirements of each country he said.

Industry Analysis

Over recent years, the blueberry industry has undergone changes to make it possible for the fruit to be labeled as it is, a superfood. Adding to this, the pandemic changed consumer habits and boosted blueberry purchases by delivery.

"Customer consumption has a lot of potential and there is still a lot of growth to be made especially in production of blueberry-based products and processed products."

"The benefits of blueberries are increasingly known and valued by consumers around the world, who have become more health-conscious in the wake of the pandemic," Bustamante said.