Chile: Blueberry exports 41% down on last year

Chilean blueberry exports for Week 44 were affected by the long weekend on Thursday, October 31 and Friday November 1. This meant export volumes dropped compared to the previous week to 163 tonnes. All told, Chilean export volumes now total 530 tonnes, about 41 percent greater than last season at the same time when volumes totalled 370 tonnes.

In Region IV the harvest is at its peak but advancing slowly due to the drizzles in the morning. Jewel and O’Neal are the main crop varieties and show around 40% to 50% of progress in Elqui and Ovalle. In Region V, most of the harvest areas are beginning with highest volumes, as Casa Blanca, Villa Alemana, San Felipe and Quillota amongst others. The harvest rhythm progresses slowly but is increasing in recent weeks.

The phenological stages seem similar to previous seasons, but if temperatures remain high as recent in days the stages could advance. O’Neal grows in the earliest sector of Region VIII and the fruit diameters could reach up to 12 mm. Mid season varieties like Legacy shows 5 to 6 mm in diameter in the earlier stages. In Region VII, the harvest starts on November 15 in Curico areas with early varieties, a bit later would be Parral and Linares.

The Central Zone is being incorporated into the harvest process. In the Metropolitan Region the picking has started but with low volumes due to loss of early varieties. In Region VI the harvest focuses primarily on fields that are under tunnels. In areas by the coast it is expected to start from November 15 with the first picking of O’Neal, while Duke will incorporate to the process around November 20. Both varieties are in fruit growth and O’Neal shows diameters of 10 mm

In the South Zone everything is developing as normal. Rainfall was recorded at the end of last week with no major frosts. This week, rain is expected again so growers are aware there is a possibility of frost.

Chilean Blueberry Committee

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