Agronometrics in graphs:

Peru witnesses a 37,5% increase in blueberry production in the first quarter of 2023

In this installment of the 'Agronometrics In Charts' series, Sarah Ilyas studies the state of the Peruvian Blueberry Industry. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural product, focusing on a specific origin or theme and visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

Despite inclement weather characterized by torrential rains and seasonal flooding, Peru's agricultural sector made substantial progress during the first quarter of 2023 (January-March). According to a report issued by the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation, the rebound in blueberry production played a key role in driving growth, posting a notable increase of 37,5% over the corresponding period of 2022. Ehe increase in blueberry production can be attributed to the larger cultivation area in the Lambayeque, Ica and La Libertad regions. Blueberries, being the main exported agricultural product, accumulated sales of more than US$ 1,364 million at the end of 2022.

The United States remains the main market for Peruvian blueberries, with more than 152.000 tons exported in the 2022-23 season (around 53% of the total volume exported).

 

Due to higher incoming volumes from Peru, prices this season were on average lower than last season, ranging from $13,93 per pack in week 44-45 of 2022 to $25,33 per pack in week 10 of 2023.

One factor contributing to the impressive growth in Peru's blueberry production has been the expansion of both new and existing growing regions. Data provided by Senasa indicate that in 2016 Peru had just 1.923 hectares of blueberry plantations. However, by 2020, this number had ballooned to 18.614 hectares. Previously, 90% of production was concentrated in the La Libertad region, but currently, this region only represents 25% of total production. Other regions such as Lambayeque, Ica and Lima have significantly increased their volumes.

Another important factor in the increase in blueberry volumes in Peru is the evolution of new varieties since 2016. “Seven years ago, we registered only 13 blueberry varieties with Biloxi that represent almost 60% of all crops in the country. At the end of 2022, we registered 65 varieties of blueberries, with a drop in the participation of Biloxi to 25% participation, being surpassed by Ventura with 32%", explained Luis Miguel Vegas, General Manager of Proanandans.

The country has added almost 3.000 new hectares of blueberry crops per year since 2016.

"We need to continue investing in new varieties because it favors both consumers and producers. On the one hand, it provides better, higher-quality fruit, and for producers, it increases productivity and allows the country to diversify its market and stop being so dependent on the US market. Right now, more than half of our volume depends on that country. ”i conclude vegas.

According to César Romero, specialist in International Trade of the Directorate of Economic Studies of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri), there is still room to grow in blueberry shipments abroad, since Peru only sent this product to 32 markets last year. In addition, Senasa has been working on opening a portfolio of new destinations, which are South Africa, South Korea, New Zealand, Vietnam, Argentina, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Australia.

All prices for US domestic produce represent the spot market at the point of shipment (ie, packinghouse/climate-controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the price data represents the spot market at the port of entry.

You can track the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool created to help the industry make sense of the massive amounts of data professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and graphics in this article helpful, please feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same charts or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.

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