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Industry News | 3 min read
Peru Remains the Global Leader in Blueberry Exports: Record Figure in 2023
Miguel Angel Miranda
July 24, 2023
Miguel Angel Miranda
July 24, 2023

Peru Remains the Global Leader in Blueberry Exports: Record Figure in 2023

Peru is the world’s largest blueberry exporter for the fourth consecutive year. The South American nation saw the value of its 2022 exports grow by 14.9% compared to 2021 and expects to close the 2022/23 season with a record export volume of 283 thousand metric tons.

Why is the blueberry industry so important in Peru?

According to figures from Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR), in 2022, the value of blueberry sales reached $1.401 billion, a year-over-year increase of 14.9%. This figure accounts for 14.3% of the total agro-export value.

The continuous growth of Peruvian blueberry exports has pushed its value past grapes, and it is now the country’s most economically important export crop.

Peru’s success in selling its produce internationally has been a tremendous economic driver, particularly in high-production growing regions. The areas benefiting the most include La Libertad, with 46% of the total cultivated area in the country, followed by Lambayeque, with 28%. Additional production is also found in Ica (8%), Lima (6%), Ancash (5%), Piura (5%) and Moquegua (1%).

How did Peru become the largest blueberry exporter?

In 2012, Peru was not even a top-10 blueberry exporter. However, due to favorable climatic conditions in regions such as La Libertad, its production grew exponentially until, during the 2019/20 season, it managed to rank first in the world, surpassing Canada and the United States.

Although the United States still surpasses Peru in total production, its growing demand for this product has limited exports. This created a tremendous opportunity for Peru, which is now the largest blueberry exporter to the US, shipping large quantities when domestic production is low.

Peru’s success was also driven by the excellent work of the National Agricultural Health Service of Peru (SENASA), which has helped to open and consolidate new markets by signing international trade agreements and working on phytosanitary issues.

Primary markets for Peruvian blueberries

According to ProArándanos, Peru’s blueberry export and marketing association, 90% of Peruvian blueberries are exported between August and December.

The United States is the leading destination for Peruvian blueberry exports, importing about 53% of the total export volume. The Netherlands (23%), Hong Kong (9%), the United Kingdom (6%) and China (6%) are also major importers.

The Chinese market has great potential for growth for the industry since, in 2022, the value of blueberry exports to China grew by 54.9%, greater than any other destination.

Other destination markets include Brazil, Central America, the Middle East, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore.

What does the Peruvian blueberry industry expect in 2023?

All data indicates that Peru will achieve its goal of closing the 2022/23 season with a record export figure of 287,000 metric tons, and projections indicate that the 2023/2024 market could grow to 330,000 to 350,000 metric tons.

The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) forecasts that 169,400 metric tons of this harvest will be destined for the United States, further increasing its share of this critical market.The status of varietal replacement in Peru

Peru has experienced tremendous growth in varietal replacement. Approximately 62 blueberry varieties have been certified in Peru, a significant increase from 2016 when only 13 were approved.

Growers in Peru are increasingly opting to use improved varieties to replace Biloxi and Ventura in order to obtain higher quality and more competitive products.

Sources: Gob.pe, Agronometrics, Proarandanos, Fresh Plaza, Blueberries Consulting, Agraria.pe