Peru and Mexico Overtake Chile in Blueberry Exports
As Chilean fresh blueberry exports have declined in recent years, Peru and Mexico have increased their shipments significantly and are challenging Chile’s status as a leader in the blueberry market.
Chile was once the world’s leading blueberry exporter, but in 2019 it was surpassed by Peru, and recent data shows that Chile’s fresh blueberry exports will decline by 18% in the 2022-23 season.
This decrease coincides with a significant increase in Peru’s export volume, estimated to rise from 9% in previous years to an impressive 61% in the most recent season.
Mexico has also grown its blueberry exports by 9% compared to the previous season.
Additionally, Mexico has achieved higher FOB prices (Free on Board, the point at which the seller fulfills its responsibility to deliver the goods to the designated carrier), reaching $4.1 per pound. At the same time, the Chilean blueberry has settled at $2.1 per pound, the lowest value among southern hemisphere suppliers.
Factors Challenging the Competitiveness of Chilean Blueberries
Peru and Mexico’s increased production volume allows them to offer a more consistent supply throughout the year, in contrast to Chilean blueberry shipments, primarily concentrated in December, January and early February.
Additionally, Mexico and Peru have successfully met buyers’ preference for blueberries with high crunchiness, large size, and attractive appearance, while Peru has struggled to meet these standards.
To hold its position in the global market, the Chilean blueberry industry must establish greater harvest professionalization, intensified quality controls, and strategies to improve the appearance and size of Chilean blueberries.
Chile faces an increasingly competitive market. However, by taking strategic actions and adapting to market demands, it can maintain its relevance as a supplier of quality blueberries and successfully compete with Peru and Mexico.
Sources: Portal Frutícola, UACh, La Tribuna, Diario Financiero