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Blueberries Surpass Grapes as Peru’s Most Valuable Fruit Export

May 11, 2023

Peru is estimated to have exported 287,000 metric tons or $1.4 billion worth of blueberries in the 2022/23 season, making blueberries surpass table grapes as Peru’s most valuable fruit export.

From the start of the season in June 2022 to mid-March 2023, Peru exported 283,000 metric tons of fresh blueberries, representing an increase of 30% over the same period of the 2021/22 season. Fernando Cillóniz, CEO of consulting firm Inform@cción, said that the export window for Peruvian blueberries is becoming longer, extending from June to March, with shipping volumes peaking in September and October. Since 2016, the blueberry planting area in Peru has also been expanding by an average of approximately 3,000 hectares per year. By the end of 2023, it is forecast that the total planting area will have reached almost 20,000 hectares. As a result of these trends, it is forecast that the South American country will be able to export 330,000–350,000 metric tons of fresh blueberries in the 2023/24 season.

As of mid-March 2023, China ranked as the third-largest overseas market for Peruvian blueberries, importing 37,000 metric tons of the fruit and accounting for 13% of Peru’s total exports, with the United States (152,000 metric tons) and the Netherlands (65,000 metric tons) holding the top two positions.

Luis Miguel Vegas, general manager of the Peruvian Blueberry Growers Association (Proarándanos), remarked that this season has been full of challenges, including price pressure caused by oversupply in Europe, higher production and transportation costs, and political and social instability in Peru. He emphasized the importance of additional promotional efforts in major markets such as the United States and China to prevent further price drops, despite the country’s blueberry output having maintained an upward trend in recent years.

It has been reported that there are currently up to 62 blueberry varieties under development or in the patent application stage in Peru. This development work is focused on cultivars with a firmer flesh, larger size, higher sugar content, crispier texture, greater resilience to storage and transportation, and higher and more stable yields. In addition, the Peruvian blueberry sector is searching for advanced packaging solutions to help prolong the shelf life of the fruit.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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