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Peru's blueberry oversupply takes its toll on export price

Overview of the Peruvian blueberry season, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.  

Original published in on November 25, 2020 

This year's Peruvian blueberry season began in June with the export of 1,010 tons worth 5 million dollars. These figures represented a 25% increase in volume and a 77% increase in value over the same month of 2019. The lower production in the northern hemisphere due to weather problems allowed producers to achieve attractive prices of $ 5.15 per kilogram in June.

Volume (in Kg) of blueberry from Perú in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The good reception of Peruvian blueberries and the increase in prices encouraged exports during July, a month in which the country shipped 4,808 tons (+ 108%) for 26 million dollars (+ 102%). In this month, the increase in the Peruvian supply generated a slight 3% fall in the typical prices of the month, reaching a value of $ 5.41 per kilogram.

Price and volume of blueberries from Peru in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In August, the pressure from the Peruvian supply continued to grow, with shipments of 18,817 tons (+ 81%) and 108 million dollars (+ 40%). The increase in Peruvian shipments led to a 23% drop in the price for the month when compared to the previous year, to $ 5.71 per kilogram.

Even though Peruvian companies began to control their shipments, prices continued to decrease in the following months. In September, exports totaled 31,764 tons (+ 57%) worth 182 million dollars (+ 15%). Prices fell by 27% over the same month of the previous year, standing at $ 5.74 per kilo.

Price (in USD) of blueberry from Peru in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In October, when the peak of the Peruvian season began and the country serves 40% of global demand, blueberry shipments reached a volume of 42,296 tons (+ 36%) worth 195 million dollars (-8%). This alarmed the exporting companies, as it was the first time that the value of shipments showed a negative result during the peak of the campaign. In October, the Peruvian blueberry was quoted at 4.62 per kilo, i.e. 32% less than in 2019.

Origin of blueberries in the US market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In the first week of November, Peruvian blueberry exports totaled 11,461 tons (+ 26%) worth 53 million dollars (-15%).

To face this situation, exporters have taken additional actions to control the growth of their supply and prevent prices from falling further, such as searching for new markets or allocating larger volumes of fresh product to the frozen industry and to the domestic market.

Due to all this, estimates are that the country will export a total of 167,000 tons of blueberry worth 860 million dollars in 2020. This means the country's blueberry exports are expected to grow by 30% in volume but only 4% in value over the previous year.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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