Peru: The current blueberry export season shows a drop of – 48%
According to the September update of the “Projection of the Export of Fresh Peruvian Blueberries – Campaign 2023-2024”, prepared by Proarándanos and aimed at the union of Peruvian blueberry producers and exporters, so far in the current campaign, Peru has been exporting 33,115 tons of fresh blueberry, which is equivalent to a decrease of -48% compared to the campaign previous.
This drop in volume has been caused mainly by the arrival of the El Niño meteorological phenomenon, which has been impacting the production rate due to an increase in temperature between 4 to 5 degrees Celsius above the historical average.
In the physiological aspect of the plants, the climatic effect associated with the El Niño phenomenon differs in its impact on the different cultivated blueberry varieties, with Ventura, the variety with the largest planted area and the highest proportion of exports, being the most affected to date. moment.
If we break down the behavior of the Peruvian industry into quarters, we see that during the months of May to July, fresh blueberry exports were reduced by -18% compared to the previous campaign, which highlights the effect of the arrival of the phenomenon of The boy.
For what is projected during the second quarter of the campaign, which corresponds to the period from August to October, the effect of the weather would be expected to accentuate the drop in exports significantly, reaching -45% compared to the 2022 campaign. 23. XNUMX.
El Niño and management
In terms of management, there may be a second or third reading of these numbers, since the threat of the El Niño phenomenon was announced well in advance and the consequences were foreseeable. According to some observers, these warnings were not heeded at the time and adequate or correct strategies were not established to confront it. Now, with fait accompli, recipes appear that are no longer useful, except to generate media attention for one or another expert.
It is important to stop at this point, since, although the meteorological phenomenon can explain a general drop in productive yields this season, it may be the successes or errors of specific management that explain the differences in results between the different producers and regions. This is the case of the La Libertad region, the main producing and exporting area of Peru, which currently shows the worst indices in the country, with a drop of 17% compared to the previous season, falling from 151,809 tons, which in 2022-23 represented 53.0% of Peruvian exports, with a projected volume for 2023-24 of 126, 254 tons, equivalent to 49.2% of the country's total.
In fact, there are areas where the effect of the El Niño phenomenon has supposedly been very minor, and on the contrary, show better results, such as Ancash, Lima, Piura and Moquegua, which show positive results and growth. Only Lambayeque and Ica also show negative results, although only 7.0% and 6.0% respectively.
It is important to subsequently evaluate what has happened in Peru, since, since the information and prior knowledge exists, and we have the technical and technological tools to prevent this and other threats, it is not possible to ignore it in a modern, consolidated industry. and that leads the world market.
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.
In summary, it is estimated that during the 2023-2024 campaign, shipments of fresh Peruvian blueberries would reach a total volume of 256,481 tons (226,434 tons of conventional blueberries and 30,047 tons of organic blueberries), thus decreasing by -10% compared to to the 2022-2023 campaign, where 286,240 tons were registered.
This industry projection has been developed thanks to the information provided by members and non-members of Proarándanos, which together represented 94.56% of the total volume exported during the 2022-2023 campaign, although an estimate was also made for the remaining 5.44%. , assuming a weekly curve similar to the rest, as well as distribution by destination and by producing region and also assuming that the companies that make up this 5.44% will only export conventional blueberries.
We will publish a new Proarándanos projection in the coming weeks, with updated information and hopefully with the first evaluations regarding the behavior of the 2023-2024 season.