W31: Blueberry Update

In W31 in the blueberry landscape, the International Blueberry Organization (IBO) is set to present its 2023 Global State of the Blueberry Industry report through a live virtual event on August 15 at 2:00 pm GMT. The webinar will explore current trends, data, and forecasts for the blueberry sector.

In 2022, berries surpassed beer as Mexico's top agri-food export, a trend affirmed by the sector's robust performance in the initial months of 2023, generating USD 777 million. This achievement is notable as berries surpassed avocados, beer, and tequila. Across 22 of Mexico's 32 states, berries are cultivated commercially and shipped to 38 global destinations. The range includes blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, with the latter leading the export figures. The United States (US) is the largest importer of Mexican berries, followed by regions like the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Over the past decade, strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry production tripled from 257 thousand metric tons (mt) in 2011 to 754 thousand mt in 2020, reflecting a fivefold increase in the total value of Mexican berry exports. Predominant berry-producing states include Michoacán at 58%, followed by Jalisco at 17%, and Baja California at 12%.

The ongoing Peruvian 2023/2024 blueberry campaign has witnessed shipments of 9.81 thousand tons, marking a 28% decline from the previous campaign's 13.57 thousand tons. W30 recorded 2.16 thousand tons of exported blueberries, reflecting a substantial 47% decrease compared to the same period in 2022. Notably, three major destinations accounted for 86% of all shipments: the US with a 36% share, China with 30%, and the Netherlands with 20%. Shipments to the US experienced a 56% reduction, amounting to 784 tons. In China, exports totaled 646 tons, down by 61% from the same period in 2022.

Lastly, the 2023 blueberry season in Georgia ended positively, demonstrating growth compared to the previous year. Favorable weather conditions contributed to increased production and exports, primarily to Russia. Despite a notable price decline, they remained more stable than in 2022, with some concerns about market speculation. The season began early without delays and avoided heavy rains during the main harvest. However, excessive heat posed challenges, potentially affecting yield and quality. The season's price fluctuated between USD 7 to 8/kg at the start, dropping to USD 2.7/kg during the peak season. Despite this, Georgia achieved record-breaking blueberry exports in 2023, reaching 2.97 thousand tons, generating USD 17.7 million. 

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