Peruvian blueberries bet on the UK and China

Last year was excellent for Peruvian blueberry exports. Shipments increased by 148% over 2015, and blueberries became the agricultural exports' star product.

At the end of 2016, exports of this fruit amounted to USD 242.9 million and 27.844 tons, while in 2015 they amounted to USD 96.7 million and 10,316 tons, according to data from Sunat.

However, Peru still exports less than half of what Chile exports. Chile is the main exporter of blueberries in Latin America and, in the same period of time, increased its blueberry exports by 24% in value, from USD 526 to USD 655 million, and in volume, from 87.109 to 113.991 tons.

The US is currently the main target market for both countries, to the extent that it represents 55% of the export value for Peru and 60% for Chile. The differences between both countries begin with their second destination market, as Peru's second biggest market is the Netherlands, which accounts for 23.1% of its blueberry exports, while Chile's exports to the UK, 11%, and China 10%.

The latter two countries are Peru's challenge for the next few years, as they would enable the country to continue growing and consolidating these shipments. Peru introduced its blueberries into the Chinese market in December last year, after complying with phytosanitary requirements, so the task now is to pave the way for the Peruvian blueberry.

Something similar happens with the UK, as the Brexit has opened the door to establish a bilateral agreement that would make Peruvian exports to that country, which has a high purchasing power, sustainable.

The average price per kilogram of Peruvian blueberries in the international markets is higher than that of Chilean blueberries. Peruvian blueberries had an average price of US $8.72 per kg in 2016, i.e. 7% less than in the previous year. Meanwhile, Chilean blueberry prices decreased by 5% from USD $6.04 per kg to USD $5.75 per kg.

This shows that it is still possible to improve the Peruvian production's competitive edge over the Chilean one, producers just have to find a way to do it.


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