The Chilean blueberry season is over, and the export volume is close to 118 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 8%. Despite the complex production situation this season, the Chilean blueberry industry is still able to face the challenge and improve the quality of blueberries for export.
Compared with last year, the sales of Chilean blueberries in the US and European markets increased by 14%and 13%, respectively. In Asia, due to the 46%decrease in the Chinese market, the overall sales in Asia fell by 27%, but to South Korea and Taiwan, China. The exports of China increased by 52%and 35%respectively. India’s sales this season soared by 233%, but the total volume was only 112 tons. In terms of market share, the United States accounted for 53%of exports this season, while Europe and Asia accounted for 34%and 10%, respectively. The remaining 3%is sold to Canada, the Middle East and Latin America.
Chilean Blueberry Committee Chairman Andrés Armstrong pointed out that although the epidemic has brought challenges, it has also had a positive impact. He said:”Because blueberries have a positive effect on human health and the immune system, the consumption of blueberries during the epidemic has also been boosted.” Despite the increase in global supply and intensified competition, Chile can still maintain or even increase the export volume of fresh blueberries. The attention to product quality undoubtedly played an important role,” he said.
Last year was the 10th anniversary of the Chilean Blueberry Committee. The Association launched the”Quality System of the Committee of Blueberries” (Quality System of the Committee of Blueberries), which includes selection and production of new varieties, orchard management, blueberry harvesting, and harvesting. With the five major quality standards in post-processing and quality grading, it seems that the quality system has achieved initial results.
Isabel Urrutia of iQonsulting, an agricultural product industry information company, described two important factors for the increase in production this season:increased acreage and increased global demand.”Between 2015 and 2020, the sales volume of blueberry trees remained above 3 million, and reached a peak of 3.9 million in 2017. They are mainly high-yielding varieties. These new plants have contributed to the replacement of varieties led by the Blueberry Committee to a certain extent. Increased the total planting area of blueberries.
Urrutia also emphasized the importance of increasing export blueberry varieties.”One of the characteristics of Chilean blueberries is that there are many varieties. Several varieties have maintained an upward trend in exports this season and have exported more than 1,000 tons, including Blue Ribbon, Top Shelf, Suzy Blue and Drapper. The first three varieties were produced in 2016-17. The export volume in the season is less than 130 tons, and the export volume this season is close to 2,200 tons.”