Peruvian Blueberry Industry Faces Trials Due to El Niño
The Peruvian blueberry industry is grappling with challenges stemming from the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, which directly impacted the country’s blueberry harvest and exports.
How has El Niño affected Peruvian blueberries?
Traditional blueberry varieties have been negatively affected by abnormal temperatures caused by El Niño. Notably, the Ventura variety has experienced significant issues with fruit quality and size.
Throughout the first quarter of the year, Peruvian blueberry production volumes plummeted by 40% compared to last year. This decline translated into a substantial drop in blueberry exports, with shipments dipping by roughly 25% through the first seven months of this year compared to 2022.
This export impact has been most pronounced in the Chinese market, which saw a reduction of nearly half the volume exported during the current period. However, it remains a market with immense growth potential.
Chinese consumers have a preference for blueberries that are crunchy, large, and naturally sweet. Unfortunately, current conditions have failed to meet the specific demands of consumers in that country.
What is the forecast for the current season?
Projections suggest that challenges will persist. A reduction in blueberry production between 10% and 20% is anticipated by the season’s end. Similarly, the export outlook remains challenging, with a projected decline of 10% to 15%.
Despite these setbacks, Peru’s position as a leading blueberry exporter remains secure, although it may interrupt its four-year streak of consecutive growth.
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Sources: Agraria.pe, Gestion.pe, InfoMercado.