Since May, when the current Peruvian blueberry season began, up to the end of week 40, Peru has shipped 77.3 million pounds of fresh blueberries to the U.S., representing a 55% drop year-on-year, Proarandanos Peru informs Oct. 16.
Of this total, 99% was shipped by sea, with Port of Philadelphia as the main port of entry, receiving 68% of the imported volume, followed by Hueneme with 18% and Miami with 12%.
Organic blueberries account for 22% of the total export volume to the U.S., representing a drop of approximately 60% compared to the previous season.
The main reason for the drop in volume has been Peru’s atypical weather this year, given the El Niño phenomenon, which has increased temperatures between 7 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit above the average of the last 25 years.
This increase has had a significant impact on the production of certain blueberry varieties due to the lack of accumulation of low temperature hours. For the last part of the season, in the months of February and March, the intensity of the rains will be a determining factor in the volumes shipped to the U.S.
Sea temperature records have been showing a cooling trend, which means that there shouldn't be a large amount of rain.
The U.S. is the main destination for Peruvian blueberries, representing more than 47% of the total volume exported globally this season, and despite the extraordinary weather this year, Peru is still a main supplier to the American market.
The U.S with 77.3 million pounds of exports is followed by Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) with 23%, equivalent to 37.6 million pounds, China with 19% share at 31 million pounds; the United Kingdom, 6% with 10.4 million pounds.
Other destinations represent 5% with 8.5 million pounds.
This season, La Libertad has contributed the most to export volumes with 47% of the total. It is followed by Lambayeque with 15%, Ica with 14%, Lima with 11%, Piura with 2%, and Arequipa and Moquegua with 1%, respectively.