Argentina's blueberry production has increased compared to 2013 as a result of the season's mild weather conditions.
"In week 48, more than 15,000 tonnes of fresh blueberries were already shipped, and we will thus exceed 16,000 tonnes. Our original prospects were a little higher, but hail in the province of Salta caused the loss of approximately 1,000 tonnes," explains Inés Peláez, manager of the Argentinian Blueberry Committee.
This would represent a significant annual increase of around 25%, which is not bad at all, although Argentina's strongest point is not its large volume, but its leading position when it comes to early harvest blueberries.
"Since 2011, Argentina's growth in the production of early fruit has been of 200%; this is due to the strong investments in varietal conversion carried out between 2006 and 2012, and which is now yielding its first results. These plantations have not yet reached their full maturity, and thus Argentina is expected to continue growing," affirms Inés.
Comparison of weekly volumes for early blueberries 2011-2014
Between weeks 35 and 41, a total of about 3,900 tonnes of early fruit were exported. 52.7% went to the United States, while Europe received 36.4%, Canada 6.3%, and 4.6% was exported to Asian markets and others.
"Other countries like Peru and Chile have plans to plant more early blueberries, but nowadays Argentina is the leader by far, dominating with over 80% of the exports, and with a fruit that reaches better prices. The 2,600 hectares which Argentina has are yielding amazing results and I don't think the situation will change in the near future," concludes Inés.
Share of early blueberry exports for Latin American producers
In the 2015 season, Argentinian blueberries are expected to have the opportunity to compete in the exciting Chinese market, as the opening of the Asian giant could be scheduled for late next year.
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