The earlier start of the blueberry campaign in Chile and the growth of the production volume are the key points that are defining the development of this season. So far, Chile has exported 41% more than last year, with the most notable increase corresponding to fruit for fresh consumption. Meanwhile, the interest in frozen blueberries has decreased by 50%.
The South American overproduction and the lack of demand on the part of the United States have caused prices to collapse over the last 8 weeks. “When Chile started harvesting, Peru was already established, so when we entered, prices had already hit rock bottom. The frozen fruit yielded very poor prices, so producers thought that they would have better returns in the fresh market, which eventually caused an oversupply and a depreciation of more than 30%,” confirms Luis Alberto Alcaino, of Berries San Alberto.
“We live in a difficult and unstable situation; producers do not know whether to market our fruit frozen or fresh. For example, in the case of organic blueberries, we are receiving no more than $ 2 per kilo, while last year we were paid more than $ 3. That is why this year we have decided to ship more volumes to Asia and the Middle East. In any case, we believe that in about 3 to 4 weeks prices will pick up again in the United States and maybe we’ll be able to save the campaign,” concludes the representative.