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2023/24 Chilean Blueberry Exports Defy Expectations With Smaller Decline

February 06, 2024

According to Andrés Armstrong, executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee of Frutas de Chile, the current export forecast for 2023/24 stands at approximately 80,000 metric tons. This is similar to the 82,000 metric tons projected at the start of the season but a marked improvement on the more recent estimate of 73,500 metric tons. Although the export volume is still increasing, ending the current campaign with around 80,000 metric tons of blueberries shipped overseas would represent an 8.5% decline from the 2022/23 season.

Armstrong described this season as exceptionally difficult in terms of forecasting export volumes, citing various factors that have hampered the evaluation. First, weather conditions hindered berry growth, then high shipment volumes were concentrated in just a few weeks, and now the season appears set to last longer than the year before, he explained.

From week 44 of 2023 to week 3 of this year, Chile exported 61,707 metric tons of blueberries, which represents a 16% decline compared with the same period in 2022/23. Shipments to Asia amounted to 7,393 metric tons, an 18% year-on-year decrease. Meanwhile, the United States and continental Europe, Chile’s primary blueberry markets, absorbed 24,716 and 22,859 metric tons, respectively, during this time period. The U.S. market witnessed a drop in import volumes, while the European and Latin American markets demonstrated growth compared with last season.

Between week 50 of 2023 and week 3 of 2024, weekly shipping volumes averaged 8,890 metric tons, with peak exports occurring in weeks 51 and 2. The shipping volumes were predicted to gradually decrease from week 4 onward.

In regard to harvesting, Armstrong noted that Chile’s central-south zone, where the majority of blueberries are grown, is nearing the end of harvesting, while in the southern zone, which normally wraps up the blueberry season across the country, berry picking has already begun. In comparison to 2022/23, this season is expected to end later, which will enable Chile to ship more fresh blueberries to its overseas markets.

Image: Pixabay

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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