The pandemic has boosted the consumption of healthy and beneficial foods, such as fresh blueberries, and increased their demand globally. This is good news for blueberry-producing countries, which now expect to increase the volumes they will market this season and achieve better prices.
Optimism in Chile
Chile has very high expectations. The country has been emerging from a long period of adjustments in which the Chilean industry took different measures, including the replacement of varieties, to increase the quality of its fruits and they expect that the current circumstances will allow this industry to regain competitiveness and stability.
The outlook is positive for the 2020/2021 season. According to the Chilean Blueberry Committee, the country has more than 18,000 hectares of blueberries that are expected to produce nearly 111,500 tons this season.
US producers are monitoring Peruvian exports
Peru, which exported 120,000 tons of blueberries in the previous season, is expected to export more than 165,000 tons this season. The country has already exported nearly 25% of this projected volume to the US.
This high volume of Peruvian blueberry exports is being closely monitored by US producers, who have asked the Government to initiate a Section 201 global safeguards investigation before the International Trade Commission, to review whether this increase in imports of blueberries has caused serious damage to their local productions.
“Limiting Peruvian exports could harm Chile's position in third markets, as Peru would possibly start sending its blueberries to those countries. In any case, we believe the investigation will last a while and we don't think it will have any effect on the current season,” said Felipe Silva, the president of the Chilean Blueberry Committee.