Berry exports (strawberries, blackberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries) gained ground during the first quarter of the year, leaving behind many emblematic products of the country, such as avocados and tomatoes.
Berry shipments increased by 19.56 percent in the first three months of 2019 over the same period of the previous year, while exports of avocado and tomato fell by 6.36 percent and 1.10 percent, respectively.
According to data from the Agricultural Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), an organ of the Ministry of Agriculture, berry exports amounted to US $1.039 billion, 338 and 487 million more than avocado and tomato exports, two of the products that seduce external consumers the most.
Berries are gaining more ground in the export market. Although in the first quarter of this year berry exports increased by almost 19.56 percent, when compared to 2017, the increase shoots up to 35.64 percent.
The United States is, by far, the main destination of Mexican berry exports, with 96 percent of the total (994 million dollars).
Other destinations include Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. They have also awakened an interest in Asia, where nations such as Japan and China show an interest in Mexican food, although they still have a small market share.
According to Mario Andrade, the former president of the National Association of Exporters of Berries (Aneberries), the increase in berry exports is an example of how the competitiveness of Mexican producers has been growing in recent years.
In his opinion, Mexico has combined its climatic conditions with investments for the modernization of crops, with the aim of increasing its productivity throughout the year.
When taking into account the three crops mentioned (berries, tomatoes, and avocados), sales abroad grew by 5.4 percent in value as of March 2019, going from 2.176 billion dollars to 2.293 million, a figure driven by berries, according to the SIAP.
Michoacan accounts for 65 percent of the country's plantation area; Jalisco for 19 percent; Baja California, 8 percent, and Guanajuato, 3 percent. The remaining 5 percent is distributed in 12 producing states, according to data from Aneberries.
According to specialists, berries are expected to maintain a positive performance in the following months.