Peruvian blueberries: There will be no growth, but neither will there be a tragedy

The current campaign can be closer in results to the last season because the new varieties entered into Peruvian production offer high yield, in addition to better quality of the fruit.

The production and export of blueberries by the Peruvian industry had been growing rapidly in recent years, surprising the market and eliminating much of its competition. A growth achieved thanks to new plant genetic varieties, which have allowed the Peruvian industry to maintain a consistent supply of better quality, larger caliber and good flavor fruit, satisfying many of the high demands of consumers.

In the 2021-22 season, the Peruvian industry placed 222,978 tons in different markets around the world, especially in the United States. Then, in the 2022-23 campaign, Peruvian shipments of fresh blueberries to world markets reached 286,224 tons, consolidating an upward trend with significant increases.

Growth was not eternal

This led to projecting on July 5 a shipment volume of 325,856 tons for the current 2023-24 season, exceeding the figure for the previous campaign by 14%. However, the climatic threat and specifically that of the El Niño meteorological phenomenon forced this figure to be drastically rectified and on August 10 it was set at 272,938, which is equivalent to -5% compared to the 2022-23 campaign.

The arrival of El Niño has impacted the production rate as a result of increases in temperature, which have risen between 4°C to 5°C above the historical average, affecting the physiological aspect of the plants, delaying their flowering. , among other effects.

Delayed production

The results of the climatic and meteorological effect have been disparate by region, by farm and by variety, with Ventura, the variety with the largest planted area and highest proportion of exports, being the most affected so far.

On September 3, a new projection was made for the 2023-24 Peruvian campaign and a total of 256,481 tons were established in shipments to the markets, which would be equivalent to -10% below past results. Some even ventured to predict that the Peruvian industry would decrease volumes by 15% in this campaign, causing a high impact on the current prices of blueberries in the international market.

The fall is straightened

The latest projection of the Peruvian industry for the 2023-24 campaign was made this October 1 and reaches 260,582 tons, which reduces the reduction in production and exports of this campaign to -9%, so it would not be surprising if This downward trend will be shortened even further, although in week 38 (Sunday, September 17) the figure was only 56,421 tons, equivalent to -56% compared to the last campaign.

For the last two quarters, ranging from November 2023 to April 2024, according to the Procranberry Projection, a recovery in export volumes would be expected. However, it would be subject to the evolution of the weather in the coming weeks. There is still uncertainty in the intensity of the El Niño phenomenon towards the last stage of the year, which will be decisive in the volumes exported in these months.

The current campaign can be close in results to the last season because, although it is true that the Ventura variety represents 35% of Peruvian production and has been one of the most affected, the new varieties entered into Peruvian production are much more productive and offer high yield, as well as better fruit quality.

This projection was carried out thanks to the information from companies associated and not associated with Proarándanos (34 companies in total), which together represent 91.13% of the total exported in the 2023-24 campaign (until week 38). For the remaining percentage, an estimate was made taking into consideration a weekly distribution, by destination and by region similar to the rest.

Blueberries Consulting

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