Peru blueberries

Peruvian blueberry exports are on course to reach US$1.05bn in 2020/21, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous season, according to a report by Scotiabank.

The report predicts an export crop of almost 170,000 tonnes for the current season (July 2020 to June 2021), 43 per cent more than in 2019/20. The growth is due to a rise in planted area and increased productivity of maturing plants.

Prices for the current season are expected to be 6 per cent lower on average at around US$6.15 per kg.

The sector escaped the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which peaked in Peru between March and June. However, exports were marred by December’s strike by agricultural workers demanding better wages and working conditions.

The report noted that blueberry consumption continues to grow in the US, the world’s leading blueberry market and the top destination for Peruvian blueberries.

Per capita consumption in the US currently stands at 950g and berry marketer Driscoll’s believes this could rise to 1.8kg over the coming years.

Peruvian blueberry plantings have surged in the past five years, with new production areas coming on stream allowing the country to extend its current marketing window.

The main blueberry producing areas during 2019 were La Libertad (accounting for 79 per cent of the national total) and Lambayeque (17 per cent). Other producing areas include Ica, Lima and Ancash.

The US topped the list of export destinations in 2020, taking 53 per cent of the total volume. It was followed by the Netherlands (25 per cent), China (7 per cent), the UK (7 per cent), and Hong Kong (4 per cent).

Trade data from Adex shows that the leading players were Camposol (US$148m), Hortifrut Peru (US$145m), Agrovisieon (US$79m), Complejo Beta (US$61m) and Agroberries Peru (US$55m).