Chile: The behavior of the blueberry industry in 2021

Just when it is beginning to circulate in the international market, PASO has published the figures for the Chilean American blueberry industry from January to November 2021. With 2022 almost over, at Blueberries Consulting we review the data that characterized this year .

According to the latest Fruit Bulletin of the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (PASO), the blueberry is the eighth fruit with the largest agricultural commercial area in Chile, generating income of 675 million dollars (FOB) until November 2021.

The blueberry is one of the most popular export fruits in Chile. In the last 10 years, the planted area of ​​this berry has increased by 150%, being one of the 11 fruit species that have managed to increase their plantations in the same period. It is only behind the cherry, walnut and hazelnut.

The regions that generated the highest value (USD FOB) with the export of blueberries until November 2021 are: Maule (191 million), Ñuble (123 million), Biobío (93 million), O'Higgins (69 million) and Araucanía ( 48 million). These values ​​do not reflect the efficiency of the production of each region, where O'Higgins, Maule and Metropolitana lead by area planted, for example, when the latter does not even appear in the top five of the regions that generated the highest value or tons.

During this year, the peak of the average monthly blueberry export price was reached in September: $ 11.88 USD / Kg. This value was almost 2% lower than the peak of 2020, when in October a monthly average price of $ 12.12 USD / kg was registered.

The main market for Chilean blueberries continues to be the United States, where 48.81% of the tons of blueberries exported arrive. It is followed by the Netherlands (18.34%), the United Kingdom (7.5%), China (6.4%) and South Korea (4%). This year international trade has been marked by the increase in the price of container refeer and the delay in the arrival of cargoes at the ports, endangering the quality and condition of the fresh exported products (you can read more is located here).

Fresh or frozen

The maritime transport crisis takes on greater relevance when considering that 62% of the total blueberries exported were shipped fresh. 98 thousand tons of fresh Chilean berry went abroad, which generated a value of 501 million dollars (FOB), 9% more than last year during the same period.

Of the conditions in which blueberries are exported, it is not only the most popular, but also the one that grew the most (11%), followed by frozen ones.

In this condition, 47 thousand tons were shipped, 9% more than in the previous period. However, there are those who hope that the participation of the Chilean frozen blueberry will grow given new international treaties and as a reaction of the Chilean industry to the world port logistics problems.

You want to know more about the future of blueberries in Chile, don't forget to sign up for the XVIII International Blueberries Chile 2022 Seminar to be held on April 7 at the Monticello Conference Center.

Catalina Pérez R.- Blueberries Consulting

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