Blueberries are the second most exported fresh fruit in Chile so far in 2022

The volume of blueberries exported during January decreased by 18% compared to the same period last year.

According to the latest report from the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa), the blueberry is the second most exported fresh fruit from the southern country. In January, 34.500 tons were shipped abroad, equivalent to USD 164,7 million FOB. Compared to January 2021, the value of the exported berry was reduced by 22%.

Another scenario is that faced by cherries, the fruit with the greatest export abroad from Chile. With great reception in the Asian markets, 190 thousand tons of the fruit were exported, equivalent to USD 1 million FOB. This is an increase of 0.5% in volume and 11.4% in value compared to the prior year period.

The Chilean blueberry season has faced the difficulties imposed by the pandemic. The maritime logistics problem has caused growers to carefully reduce exported blueberries, selecting only those that can withstand the longest journey time without losing quality or condition.

In addition, there is a shortage of labor in Chile, where state aid provided during the pandemic discouraged seasonal berry workers. Added to these variables is the drought affecting the country and the worldwide increase in the price of agricultural supplies.

Even in the face of these difficulties, the Chilean producers' union has faced these challenges in the best possible way, without diminishing the quality of the exported fruit.

The largest markets for fresh Chilean blueberries in January 2022 were the United States with a 43.29% share, the Netherlands reaching 28.44% and China receiving 7.96% of the berries exported.

The advance of the frozen

The export of frozen blueberries increased during this season, since producers preferred this market as an alternative to maritime logistics difficulties.

The shipment of frozen blueberries abroad increased by 11% during January, reaching 2573 tons. This movement generated almost 9 million dollars FOB, an increase of 29% compared to the previous period. Its main market was the US, with a 41.26% share, followed by Australia (28.74%), South Korea (12.59%) and the Netherlands (3.61%).

Less organic production

Contrary to the frozen market, organic blueberries decreased their export volume by 12% compared to January 2021. In total, 3723 fresh and 544 frozen tons were shipped last month. Of these, 72% were exported to the US, the largest market for the Chilean organic sector. They are followed by the Netherlands (15.01%) and Germany (1.39%).

The value of the total organic blueberries shipped abroad reached 22 million dollars FOB, a reduction of 14%.

If you want to know more about the Chilean blueberry market, attend the XVIII International Blueberry Seminar Chile 2022. On April 7, at the Monticello Conference Center, the main blueberry players in Chile will meet again at the first face-to-face event of the industry, in an event where they will present strategic topics specially selected for this market.

Catalina Pérez R.- Blueberries Consulting

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