Chile: Despite the crisis, Europe increases the import of cranberry

Last season was particularly complicated for all Chilean fruit. Cranberry production suffered heavy frosts, which resulted in a drop of 14% in exports.

According to Andrés Armstrong, manager of the Committee of Cranberries of Chile, this season the production has recovered the growth and the sent volumes showed a fairly even behavior week after week, which is very positive, since the very pronounced peaks make concentrate a lot fruit of blow, which hinders logistics and negatively affects prices.

Andrés highlights the importance of the European market, which is reflected in the significant presence that the sector had in Fruit Logistica 2015. "It is a very important fair for the Chilean fruit and cranberries sector in particular. The European market grows every year for us and every year we increase our presence in Berlin; the committee has 42 partners and more than half were present".

According to the data provided by the committee, until 15 in February the 23% of the blueberry was destined for the European market, a slight increase in the proportion compared to the previous season, in which the 22 was destined % of the fruit, but a much more important increase in the quantity, since this season the Chilean exports will grow between an 15% and 20%, exceeding the 90.000 tons. This increase draws attention in a European market marked by the devaluation of the euro and the Russian veto, which has generated an excess of fruit in the European market and has caused an even greater competition between different types and varieties.

"Something very special happens with blueberries, it is a fruit whose consumption is expanding worldwide due to its position as a healthy food. While this devaluation of the euro may have reduced the magnitude of this growth somewhat, demand continues to grow strongly in Europe"Says Andrés.

Andres recalls that Chile started exporting fresh blueberry only to the United States, but little by little it has been diversifying its exports to Europe and Asia, being today the only country that can send fresh cranberry directly to the Chinese market and occupy a privileged position in the growing market of South Korea.

"Although nowadays Canada and the United States concentrate the 66% of our shipments, and only the 11% goes to Asia, what is happening in China is very important: the growth rate is very fast and we are the only ones that we export. We hope that other countries can also enter the market soon, to achieve a more stable supply of blueberries throughout the year and more effectively generate the habit in consumers", Concludes Andrés.




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