Argentinian blueberries could enter Chinese market next year

The Argentinian blueberry season has passed its peak earlier than usual this year, according to Carlos Stabile, of the Argentinian Blueberry Committee (ABC), “The winter was really mild and the peak arrived in week 43 instead of week 45. It has been a good year in terms of absence of big frosts, although Salta, where the country’s biggest farm is located, was affected by hail, and 1,200 tonnes were lost; a considerable percentage of Argentina’s 15 to 16,000 tonnes.”

Besides this, Carlos believes that the season has been good in terms of fruit quality. “In this sense, an important factor has been the new protocol for the U.S. reducing the temperature of fumigation from 21 to 15 degrees Celsius.”

Furthermore, he also assures that all export markets are growing. “The U.S. represents between 55 and 60%, and continental Europe has become a very dynamic market, especially Germany and Scandinavia, where we are having very good sales.”

Carlos explains that, “In the UK, there is growing competition with South Africa, which focuses 90% of its exports to this destination. They also have very cheap flights and shorter routes, and we thus cannot compete with their air freight. The most important factor for us, however, is our growth in continental Europe and Russia.”

Negotiations are also underway with China, and according to Carlos, they are on a good track. “The Chinese are currently conducting the risk analysis and next year we expect them to visit the harvest sites; this is the previous step before signing the protocol. China has great potential, despite the logistics difficulties for Argentina.”

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