Since May, when the current Peruvian blueberry season began, up to mid-July, 7,127 tons of fresh fruit have been exported, a lower volume than at the beginning of last season. Of this total, 88% was shipped by sea, while 10% was shipped by air.
Organic blueberries currently account for 7% of total exports, approximately 500 tons.
Exports to date represent a drop from the industry’s initial projections. The main reason is the atypical weather in Peru as a result of the El Niño phenomenon, which has caused temperatures to rise between 39 F and 41 F degrees above the average of the last 25 years. This increase is having a significant impact on the production of some blueberry varieties due to the lack of low-temperature accumulation to produce.
Luis Miguel Vegas, manager of Proarándanos, based in Lima, points out that, "if the varieties that have been delayed due to the atypical weather do not recover later, we see a high probability that the volume in the current season will fall by 10% to 15% compared to the previous season.”
He adds that, although this season's volume is expected to fall, they expect to maintain a consistent supply to destination markets thanks to the ample supply coming from different Peruvian growing regions, which have been responding well to the weather changes.
Progress by destination
To date, the United States is the main destination, representing 32% of total exports, with 2,218 tons; followed by China with 22%, equivalent to 1,541 tons; Europe (excluding the United Kingdom), 19% with 1,339 tons; and the United Kingdom, 13% with 893 tons. Other destinations represent 14% with 980 tons.
Progress by producing region
This season, La Libertad has been the productive region that has contributed the most to exports with 50% of the volume. It is followed by Ancash with 14%, Lambayeque with 12%, Piura with 10%, Lima with 10%, Ica with 3% and Moquegua with 1%.
Opening of new markets
Gaining access to new markets is a priority for the Peruvian blueberry industry. Promotional, commercial, and sanitary efforts in recent years have led to the opening of markets in Taiwan (2020), India, Malaysia (2021), and Israel (2022). Other markets such as Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, New Zealand, and Ecuador are currently in the process of opening.