The country’s Blueberry Committee has reviewed its estimate for 2023/24, predicting a decline of 13 per cent compared with last season

The Chilean Blueberry Committee has revised its export forecast for 2023/24, with the aid of iQonsulting, predicting 76,500 tonnes of fresh blueberry exports this season.

Chilean blueberry plantation

This represents a decrease of 7 per cent compared with the first estimate made last October, marking a decline of 13 per cent from last season’s total.

“This reestimation takes into consideration the effect of the rains at the beginning of November,” said Andrés Armstrong, executive director of the Blueberry Committee, “as well as other associated climatic events such as frost and hail. In addition, this second estimate includes the impact of the rains on 9-11 November.”

Armstrong revealed that weekly exports were within the parameters of previous seasons, as was the phenological progress of the country’s main varieties.

“A pattern similar to the average of recent seasons is shown, which would generate a first volume peak of more than 5,000 tonnes in week 49,” said Armstrong. “Meanwhile, the period of highest volumes, with up to 8,000 tonnes per week, would be between week 51 (2023) and week 3 (2024).”

To date, exports of fresh blueberries have shown an increase of 18 per cent compared with last season, according to Armstrong, who said that “the incursion of new varieties and the strong exclusion of non-recommended varieties mark our exports during this campaign”.

He also pointed out that air shipments had grown significantly. “Air shipments have dominated exports to date with 1,422 tonnes and a growth of 170 per cent compared to the same period last season,” said Armstrong. “Meanwhile, maritime shipments begin to increase little by little, as the volume of fruit also increases, adding to date 495 tonnes, which is 56 per cent less than what was shipped by this route in the same period of the previous season.”