Agronometrics in Charts: Mexico gains momentum in blueberry production

In this "In Charts" series article, Sarah Ilyas of Agronometrics discusses the Mexican blueberry season. Each week the series will look at a different fruit and vegetable crop, focusing on a specific origin or theme to see what factors are driving change.

Over the last two decades, Mexico has established itself as a dominant force in blueberry production and has managed to bag itself the distinction of being the first to 'tropicalize' the fruit. Mexico brands itself as a supplier of fresh winter and spring blueberries. While its peak harvests occur between February and April, the Mexican season generally runs from September to June. Growth trends in Mexican blueberry volume are likely to persist as the country continues to plant new ones. The country has a high degree of sophistication of producers in terms of genetics and cultivation techniques. Some blueberry companies have invested heavily in the northern state of Sinaloa in recent years, adding to an already thriving sector in the central Mexican states of Jalisco and Michoacán. These three states account for most of the crop. The Mexican berry industry expects growth of between 8 and 10% in 2022, according to a study by Agroberichten Buitenland.

As can be seen in the graph below, the last blueberry season from Mexico culminated with a total imported volume of 14 M kgs, at the height of the season. The highest volume recorded for the current season was around 2 M kgs. So far this season, Mexico has witnessed 17% more production compared to last year. Therefore, as the season progresses, imported quantities can be expected to exceed previous ones.

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) [Agronometrics users can view this graph with real-time updates here]

There are several factors driving the development of the Mexican blueberry industry. The first is the defense of protection technologies by the Mexican government. High tunnel and shade house technologies are the most prominent protection technologies used in Mexico. Thanks to such structures, growers can extend the growing season and produce high-quality blueberries. The second factor is the high monetary returns from this crop, which entice growers to switch to blueberries from other crops. Mexico also tends to ship blueberries during periods when its exports incur high prices. In addition, labor costs in Mexico are low. The competitive advantage in production costs and labor offers a promising future for the industry.

The laws of supply and demand hold true when it comes to pricing. As production increased, prices, in turn, were affected after week 4. In week 5, blueberries were quoted at USD 24,86 per pack, a drop of 16 percent compared to the previous week. week 4. This reduction in prices can be attributed to the entry of Chilean blueberries in the US market.

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) [Agronometrics users can view this graph with real-time updates here]

Week 4 saw higher volumes of Chilean blueberries entering the US market, causing blueberry prices to decline. Prices below are likely to be dictated by a combination of Chilean and Mexican blueberry volumes, as the Peruvian blueberry season winds down.

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) [Agronometrics users can view this graph with real-time updates here]

According to the IBO State of the Industry Report, about six major international companies have brought new genetics to Mexico; As these plantations mature, the country will be ready to reach its productive potential. Each state faces different microclimates, has different soil quality, and is the victim of different types of pests; this underscores the importance of proper cultivation methods and nuanced selection of varieties for each growing region. With the adoption of new genetics and the attention of foreign investors, Mexico has the potential to outperform its competitors.

In our 'In Charts' series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the others articles of the site.

You can monitor markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool created to help the industry understand the vast amounts of data professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you find the information and charts in this article useful, please feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com, where you can easily access these same charts, or explore the other 20 fruits we currently track.

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