It is estimated that Peru will exceed 250 thousand tons of blueberries exported in the current season

This would represent growth above 25% compared to last season.

The Peruvian blueberry campaign is giving very productive results and according to Proarándanos estimates, it will far exceed the figures of last campaign in terms of volumes of shipments to the blueberry markets.

In a Press Release from the entity that leads the Peruvian industry "since May, when the current blueberry campaign began, and until the end of July, more than 10 thousand tons of fresh fruit have been exported, a volume greater than the start of last season. Of this total, 92% was shipped by sea, while 8% was shipped by air. Regarding organic farming, this currently has a 9.2% share of the total exported; that is, 992 tons”.

Luis Miguel Vegas, manager of Proarándanos, points out that "if it is maintained in this way, it is estimated that it will exceed 250 tons by the end of the campaign." This would represent growth above 25% compared to last season. It has also been estimated that 90% would be exported between the months of August and December, and 50% only between September and October.

China, main destination

Regarding the main destinations of the fruit, until the end of July, China was the main destination, followed closely by the US. China has been representing 37% of the total exported, with 3,906 tons, while the US, 34%. with 3,649 tons. Europe (without the United Kingdom), 13% with 1,394 tons; United Kingdom, 9% with 917 tons. Other destinations represent 8% with 809 tons.

It is known that for the Peruvian blueberry industry it is key to gain access to new and better markets for its fruit. In this context, the promotional, commercial and sanitary efforts carried out by the Peruvian industry made it possible for Taiwan to open up as a market in 2020. Last year, India and Malaysia, and this year Israel entered, and other important markets such as Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, New Zealand and Ecuador are in the process of opening.

Economic impact and employment

Hand in hand with this important growth in the volumes produced and exported, there is also the economic impact of the industry in the localities where it is produced. The area of ​​influence of the crop in the country has increased considerably in the last five years. Currently, there are 18 thousand hectares located in different regions of Peru where this fruit is grown.

In the current campaign, at the departmental level, La Libertad has been the productive region that has contributed the most to exports with 57% of the volume. It is followed by Lambayeque with 26%, Ancash with 11%, Ica with 3%, Lima with 2%, Piura with 1% and Moquegua with 0.3%.

“The blueberry industry has a great impact on job creation. In the 2021/22 campaign, it created 120,000 direct jobs in rural areas, projecting to generate more jobs this campaign. In addition, it is an inclusive sector in which 52% of the workforce is female between 26 and 30 years old,” said Vegas.

The challenges

According to information from Proarándanos, the main problems that exporters have been facing are logistics and import costs of essential agricultural inputs. The high costs of maritime freight and imports of, for example, fertilizers, are reducing profit margins.

If we add to this that there is not enough space on the ships, we see that agro-exports in general, which includes blueberries, are making strenuous efforts to ship the fruit in the best conditions.

Domestic demand

Another great challenge that the country has is to increase the internal demand for blueberry consumption. “It is vital to work on consumer campaigns in the different markets we enter. The greater variety of supply must go hand in hand with greater demand. We are lucky that blueberries are very healthy and that people are becoming more aware of how important it is to eat healthy. That fills us with optimism for the future”, concludes Vegas.

Martin Carrillo O.- Blueberries Consulting

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