Shipments on course to finish the season on 215,000 tonnes, a decrease of 25 per cent on 2022/23
Peru exported 171,500 tonnes of fresh blueberries between week 18 (the start of the 2023/24 season) and week 51, a decrease of 32 per cent on the same period of the previous campaign.
The figures, released by industry association Proarándanos and reported in Agraria.pe, put the country on course to finish the current season with a shipment volume of 215,000 tonnes, a contraction of 25 per cent compared to 2022/23.
Daniel Bustamante, president of Proarándanos, said the decline is due to lower production volume and harvesting delays caused by the high temperatures in northern coastal areas of the country where the bulk of blueberry production is located.
As the world’s biggest exporter of fresh blueberries, Peru’s drop in production has impacted supply to all the main consumer markets and strengthened prices.
Bustamante said many of the varieties of new genetics had been able to withstand the high temperatures better because they require fewer chill hours. He pointed out that the sector is still relatively young and in the process of evaluating which varieties are best suited to the local conditions.
Looking ahead to the next campaign, Bustamante noted that it is still too early to know how the climate – specifically El Niño – will impact production in 2024/25. But he stressed that growers “must take a lot of precautions, a lot of care, to see how our plants are going to behave”.