Chilean cranberry season progresses slow due to rainier and colder spring

However, it is expected that during the first week of January the crops and shipments will be balanced, and allow an increase in exports.

The appearance of the El Niño phenomenon in the country has left a colder and rainier climate in the spring, which has caused a slight delay in the exports of blueberries to the destination markets, showing up to the 42 week a difference of -22 % compared to what was sent last year, with a total of 227 tons exported.

This is the first Crop Report, analytical report on the state of progress of export crops and shipments, published by the Committee of Blueberries, in conjunction with iQonsulting, and that for Andrés Armstrong, Executive Director of the Committee of Blueberries "It has become an essential tool for national exporters, importers and retailers, allowing them to carry out promotional activities in key weeks where volume is more important".

The report indicates that this delay is a rather early trend, which will not mark what will be the bulk of the 2015-2016 campaign. The projections indicate that the delay will be adjusted and it is expected that during the first week of January the crops and shipments will be balanced with those of last year and from there, even increase during the rest of January and February.

The United States remains the main destination market

The report also shows an active market in the United States, compared to the lower arrivals from Argentina and Chile, totaling 111 tons exported to date.

"The North American market concentrated 67% of our total shipments last season, which makes it our main destination market, and the beginning of this new season only serves to show us that the American consumer expects our fresh fruit, and it augurs a good season ", says Armstrong.

The second destination region to date has been Asia, which concentrates China, Japan, South Korea and other markets in the area, totaling 106 tons. Meanwhile, Europe is normal and active, with shipments of 8 tons until the 42 week, with traditional markets responding best in this beginning.

State of crops by region

Until the 43 week, the harvest is proceeding at a slow pace, focusing on the IV Region with moderate volumes and an advance around an 30% in Vicuña, especially in orchards under tunnel. The same in the V Region, where the season just begins with limited volumes, due to the rains and cold temperatures that are being the tonic in the spring, and that has conditioned the progress in the rest of the country.

In the case of regions RM and VI, the season is one week late, although crops under tunnel are reported in Chimbarongo and Lolol. However, the campaign should start with greater force during the first half of November. The same occurs in the Curicó area, where there is a delay of two weeks, and the O'Neal and Duke varieties are expected to start during the first and second half of November, respectively. In the case of Biobío, the harvest is expected to begin at the end of the same month.

On the other hand, for the southern zone, which includes the regions of La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos, intermittent rains and cold temperatures keep the development of the phenological stages at bay, so a delay of one to two is still observed weeks, compared to the previous season

According to the report of the Committee of Blueberries, the forecasts of the Child indicate that it will be active until December, affecting from the IV region to the VII and with very low probability in January.



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