The last Crop Report of the 2018/19 blueberry season, which was published by Chile's Blueberry Committee - ASOEX, highlighted the increase in new plantations in the country in the last 4 years. In this period, more than 4,000 hectares have been planted with new varieties or with varieties that have shown good post-harvest results. A part of these new plantations corresponds to varietal replacements and another part is new surfaces.
“A couple of months ago the new census of the region going from the Maule to the south, which included the main production area, was made public. According to the census, there are 18,374 hectares devoted to blueberry production, i.e. 2,500 hectares more than in the previous census. This new surface, which also includes the renovation of orchards, has new varieties and / or new technology that will help improve the quality of Chile's offer,” the entity stated.
This season, there was a water shortage in the northern zone, which already extends to a lesser extent to the sixth region, and fewer winter cold hours. As a result, the plants activated nearly 2 weeks earlier than usual and the season started before expected. However, the temperatures slowly increased and currently, the season is normal, with a slight advance only in the northern area, which has resulted in a greater export volume so far when compared to last season.
Shipments in the 2019-2020 campaign
According to data from the Blueberry Committee, the country has exported 578 tons of fresh blueberries so far, i.e. 102% more than in the previous season. 61% of these exports correspond to organic blueberries from the Metropolitan and VI regions. The fourth region accounts for the conventional blueberries remaining. 73% of exports were sent to North America and the remaining 27% were sent to Asia. Very insignificant volumes were sent to Europe. Thus begins a new season. There are many changes, as this mature industry faces challenges from new competition and must re-adapt to supply a market that demands attractive fruit with better flavor and firmness.
The PMA will meet next week in California. There, exporters and importers will catch up on Chile's productive situation and refine their businesses.