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Blueberries in Charts: Chilean blueberries see lowest prices in 20 years, are the industry's good days long gone?


"Twenty years is nothing," one Argentine tango singer once said. However, for the blueberry business, that might be all that there is. Chilean blueberry exports hit their boom in 2000 and since then - despite the fact that volumes continue rising year after year - prices haven't changed much. Business remains relatively stable and producers and exporters alike have adapted throughout the years, never complaining about the state of the industry, but there has always been a downward trend in pricing.

In 2019, the industry saw the lowest average prices in the history of Chilean blueberry exports. As shown below, prices were about US$6.22/kg.

Volumes (kg) and prices (USD/kg) of Chilean blueberries in the U.S. market 2000-2020


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

But this article shows how the scene is changing and prices have plummeted for the Honeycrisp in the past few months.

Growth of Chilean blueberry export volumes has been a constant since the start but now, we have to take into consideration the prescence of new actors like Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Peru. These new players have made volumes in the U.S. market explode.

Volumes (kg) and prices (USD/kg) of Chilean blueberries in the U.S. market 2000-2020


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

In the U.S. market, blueberry prices are the lowest ever this season. As mentioned before, prices for Chilean blueberries dropped to their lowest in 20 years.

Chilean blueberry prices (USD/kg) in the U.S. market


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

It's also worth mentioning that prices in the most recent weeks have been the lowest.

Chilean blueberry prices (USD/kg) in the U.S. market


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

Undoubtedly, the blueberry industry has already begun to change. 2019 has marked a critical shift in the market, as Cort Brazelton recently said "2019 marks the year that a transition begins in our industry that is driven by diverse offerings in an industry that is highly concerned with quality. 2020 is the first year that we, as an industry, should truly own up to this reality and recognize its inevitability".

Written by: Cristian Crespo
Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on February 11, 2020 (Link)

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