Supplies of blueberries are starting to tighten up as Peru winds down its volume.
“It’s towards the end of the season in Peru so the volume of blueberries being down is normal for this time of year,” says Tony Biondo of Trucco Inc. in Vineland NJ. “Peru definitely shipped more fruit this year than ever.”
Logistics issues could also possibly contribute to the tighter volumes available currently. “Since COVID, transportation hasn’t been normal. Everything is higher priced and there are always container delays at the port. Los Angeles is worse than the East Coast but there are also delays on the East Coast by about a week,” says Biondo.
While volume normally comes down at this time of the year, Biondo notes that the difference is significant compared to even a month ago.
Meanwhile demand is softer. “Consumers aren’t normally used to blueberries in the wintertime--but with countries like Peru and Mexico there are huge volumes year round. And there’s plenty of volume available, even in the winter,” he says.
In turn, the market has been depressed for at least the last two months. “But it’s starting to pick up quite a bit. Last week it started to pick up and it’s going to gradually go up. By the first of the year it’s going to be in the mid-$20s probably,” says Biondo.
Meanwhile Chile is underway with its blueberry season. “We’re getting our first shipments week 51 and we have a good program all the way until April,” he says. “I think the Chilean crop is an average crop. But the quality is very good.” Promotable volumes should begin mid-January.