While Chilean blueberry volumes are down, an extended end to their season is still expected says Andres Amstrong, Chair of the Chilean Blueberry Committee. “Our latest report shows the estimates we have done during the season. We expect an extended end of the season compared to previous seasons.”

According to the report, Chile’s peak of shipment volumes was during the last weeks of December between Christmas and New Year. “Higher temperatures in the last two weeks of the recently ended year, triggered faster ripening in those orchards that were close to harvest and this was felt in the greater output volume. Weeks 51 and 52 combined were 20,507 tons, slightly more than was expected. This means an accumulated season volume of 33,888 tons until the last week of 2023 and is 31% less than last season,” states the committee in the report.

Chile’s blueberries are currently coming mainly from the large Chilean producing areas, the Central-Southern zone that includes Maule, Ñuble and Bio Bio regions. “Therefore the impact of the weather, both, over the delay seen before Christmas, due to low temperatures, as in the current acceleration, it manifests directly and strongly on the volume harvested and shipped.”

Air shipments from Chile increased, albeit from a low base, by 209% while sea freight dropped by 38%. Armstrong says the challenges that Peru’s blueberry industry has, led to increased orders for Chilean blueberries. “Lower Exports from Peru at the beginning of our season created the opportunity for more Air shipments. Peru have been low and late the whole season. So have we. Our production windows are very complementary.”

He says the total volume of estimated fruit for fresh export this season has not changed compared to their last review in December, which remains at 73,500 ton. “It is only the ripening dynamics of the Central-Southern area that have been modified. However, in the Southern zone temperate weather persists and the average delay in harvests is 10 days. Based on this, the end of the season is expected to be longer.” Things can still change and the exact ending is difficult to predict for them says Armstrong. Any drastic changes will be communicated.

For more information:
Andres Armstrong
Chile Blueberry Committee
Tel: +56 9 6239 9528
Email: aarmstrong@asoex.cl