Skip to main content

Blueberries in Charts: Mexico sends record volumes to U.S. market

With the California blueberry season now underway, current forecasts are pointing to a significant year-on-year increase in harvests. This, along with a delay in the Mexican season, has led to relatively concentrated volumes and resulted in total arrival volumes in the U.S. at a five-year high in April, as you can see in the chart below.

Historic monthly arrival volumes of blueberries in the U.S.

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

The U.S. blueberry market has been growing significantly every year, amid increasing demand and global exports. One of the production countries that has seen the biggest increase is Mexico.

Meanwhile, per-kilo prices in week 17 were US$7.90, the lowest in five years, and US$0.20 lower on average the same date last year.

Historic blueberry prices in the U.S. market (USD per kilogram)

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

The growth from Mexico has been astonishing. In April the country exported 7,992 metric tons (MT) of blueberries, almost 2,000MT more than in April last year and 267% more than in 2015. As we can see in the chart below, the indications are that it will continue to grow over the coming years, as the planted surface area grows and young plantations come online.

Historic monthly arrival volume of Mexican blueberries in the U.S. market

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Prices of Mexican blueberries have fallen as the volumes have risen, as you can see below. In April, the per-kilo price was US$8.20, which is US$0.50 lower than last year and the lowest level in five years.

Historic weekly prices of Mexican blueberries in the U.S.

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

The U.S. blueberry market is set to be demanding and competitive in the future. Independent of the growing demand for blueberries year by year, with Mexican and Peru growing significantly, Chile continuing to be a big player with its large volumes, and Argentina and Uruguay also supplying fruit, we can expect the downward price trend to continue.

Written by: Cristian Crespo
Original published in on May 07, 2019 (Link)


Popular posts from this blog

Fruit in Charts: The winners and losers of 2018 (Part 3 of 3)

This article is the culmination of two previous posts that explored which commodities grew the most and the least through prices and volumes in both 2018 and over the last eight years. You can catch up on those previous articles with the following links:
The Winners and Losers of 2018 (Part 1 of 3)
The Winners and Losers of 2018 (Part 2 of 3)

In the process of writing the previous two articles, we saw that many of the commodities that had the highest prices also had the lowest volumes, and vice-versa. This begs the question, where are the best opportunities in this industry, where is growth and how do we define it? So in this article we will look at creating an index that combines the two factors and see if it can shed some light on this.

One of the most contentious commodities of 2018 was avocados, which saw the biggest drop in average yearly price compared with all other commodities we track. Avocados also saw one of the largest increases in volume of any commodity that we track. In …

Fruit in Charts: The winners and losers of 2018 (Part 2 of 3)

Here is part two of three looking at the winners and losers of 2018. The previous article was based on pricing information made available by the USDA market data, and here we will look at the volume data.

The USDA’s volume data is one of the most complete representations of a market available everywhere – not only considering imports to the U.S., but national production to a large extent as well. In 2018 we also saw a big improvement to the data set, which now offers more complete information for several commodities (mostly citrus), which used to only partially include U.S. production. Average Yearly Volumes by Commodity (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here
In the table below we can see the ranking of commodities by percentage of growth, which offers some good insights when considering the commercialization of the fruit the data set is trying to represent. By far the biggest increase in volume is for lemons and or…

Pears in Charts: Recent pricing pushed below previous years’ levels

Taking a look at the pear markets, the first thing that struck me when I began researching this dataset is that the market appears to be in decline, which I haven't found to be very common among the different commodities we work with. From the available data it seems that 2015 was pears’ best year, after which volumes began to decrease, dropping by almost one fourth since their high point of 2012.

Initially, the drop in volume coincided with increases in pricing, but that trend has since tapered off, seeing both a drop in price and volume over the last two years. This tells me that the demand for pears is waning. At the same, time other fruits are seeing growth, so it appears that consumers are choosing to spend their dollars on other products, which has been eating into pears’ market share within the produce aisle. I don’t have any objective data on what products are taking market share from pears, but any comments or opinions on the subject would be more than welcome.

Pear Non O…