During the current 2022-2023 campaign, Peru continues to add new commercial destinations for the export of blueberries. The country already has a presence in 62 international markets, consolidating itself as the world's largest producer and exporter of blueberries. In weeks 38 and 34, the first shipments were made to Israel and Jordan, respectively. In both cases, exports were made by air. Exports to Israel totaled 3,600 kilos. This market opened for Peru at the end of June 2022. In the case of Jordan, the first 360 kilos were exported. Other markets such as Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, New Zealand and Ecuador are in the process of opening.
In general terms, ProArándanos estimates that exports could grow by more than 25% compared to the previous campaign to 250,000MT. According to estimates, 90% of shipments could be made between August and December. Meanwhile, in week 36, organic blueberry exports reached 2,026 tons, which is a record figure in terms of weekly volume to date. In total, 10,402 tons of organic blueberries have been exported this campaign, 144% more than in the previous one. Among the main destinations are the United States, with 96.16%; Europe, with 3.06%, the United Kingdom, with 0.45% and, finally, other destinations with 0.32%.
According to Fernando Cilloniz Benavides, president of Inform@ccion, so far this campaign, Peru has exported 110,000 tons of fresh blueberries, representing an increase of 38% compared to the same period the previous campaign, as reported by Agraria. Cilloniz goes on to say that these 110,000 tons represent half of all that was exported in the previous campaign. Shipments of fresh blueberries from Peru were as follows: July 10,786,191 kilos, August 38,797,086 kilos, September (as of the 25th) 57,644,854 kilos. While in the same months the previous campaign it recorded: July 4,806,005 kilos, August 25,636,702 kilos, September 58,108,202 kilos. He stated that the start of the current campaign (July and August) has been fiery, while in the peak months of September and October there will be growth but not as much, with more late blueberry in November-January. “Blueberries are likely to become Peru’s main agro-export product this season, surpassing grapes,” stated Cilloniz.
According to Andrés Armstrong, executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee, Chilean blueberry growers expect to be at the same level of production as last season, at around 375 million pounds. Chilean blueberry production has started in the northern regions and will move south as the season progresses. Peak production comes from the central and south-central regions. Chilean blueberries typically start to hit peak volume in the last week of the year or the first week of the following year. Peak timing should follow that schedule this year. The main market for fresh Chilean blueberries is the United States, with more than 53% of shipments last season. Other key markets include Europe (34%), Asia (11%), and the remaining 2% within the Middle East and Latin America. The United States remains the top market for fresh organic blueberries, with 75% of all organic blueberries shipped to the United States, followed by Europe with 24% and the remaining 1% to Canada.
The South African Weather Service predicts that a heat wave over Gauteng in the eastern North West province, the eastern Mpumalanga Highveld, as well as the South West Limpopo bushveld will last until the end of the week without imminent rain. It comes at a critical time for many fruit crops: harvesting of early blueberries has begun, and the heat hastens the ripening of blueberries and strawberries.
Transnet, the South African rail and port authority, issued a notice on 6 October 2022 that their employees would be embarking on a labour strike related to wage increase demands. According to the authority, major rail and port operations will be affected, but they are putting in place contingency plans to minimise any disruptions. Transnet believes the strike is illegal and responded by declaring force majeure at its ports. It is anticipated that the labour strike might continue until Monday 10 October 2022, if workers’ demands are not met. With the South African citrus season wrapping up, it is hoped that shipments during this period will not be affected by the labour strike. Time sensitive blueberry exports could however be affected and exporters are advised to take action accordingly.
The strawberry campaign in the province of Huelva has already started. During the months of August and September the land was prepared and, at the moment, the farmers have either started to sow or are uprooting seedlings in the nursery to do so now. Uncertainty and concern is what mark the start of the strawberry campaign due to the fact that the irrigation communities have given the order to reduce irrigation by 15% due to the drought. In principle, the irrigation forecast for the months of September and October authorizes 694 cubic meters per hectare for strawberries. That is to say, in October every day each hectare of strawberry has 20m3 of water available.
The strawberry producers of Huelva, a province that is responsible for more than 95% of the national production, are facing a campaign that is expected to be complicated by issues such as drought and rising production costs. A problem that seems to have been solved is that of the workforce, after the Government of Spain and Morocco have agreed to expand the contingent of hiring at origin up to 15,300 workers. At the end of August the strawberry growers began to level the farms and place iron and plastic, these days they have begun to face the planting phase with the early varieties, which account for 10% of the entire planted area; the rest will begin around October 12 and conclude at the end of the month.
The area to be sown this year is expected to be similar to that of recent campaigns, around 6,100 hectares. The manager of the Huelva Strawberry Producers and Exporters Association (Freshuelva), Rafael Domínguez, explained to EFE that this limitation is due to the drought and restrictions, and recalled that on September 19 the Tinto-Odiel-Piedras reduced irrigation by 15%, news that although it did not catch the sector off guard, it is "concerning".
Strawberry markets are up an astounding 121% in W39 compared to the previous week. Unfortunately, the same rain and heat plaguing cauliflower and broccoli markets in Salinas are hemorrhaging California’s strawberry supply. Prices have gone from a dirt cheap $7, to $17, a ten-year high, in one week. Markets will increase or maintain their status as Salinas wraps up its season and production moves to Oxnard.
There are no strawberry hothouse supplies in Canada until the winter crop starts in late October. Field-grown "day neutral" strawberries are showing poor quality and decreased supply in W40. There is undersupply in the market, but as the summer season ends, demand has also dropped.
Three months ago, the Ministry of Agriculture warned about the presence in Chile of the strawberry quarantine nematode, Aphelenchoides fragariae , which was confirmed by the laboratories of the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), giving way to a declaration of agricultural emergency to contain this disease -which was detected in the south central zone- and, in this way, expedite phytosanitary surveillance in the strawberry production area, which included the Los Lakes. Regarding the level of production losses, according to the literature it could be between 60 and 80%, a figure that corresponds to that reported by other countries.
To finance the expenses generated by the presence of the strawberry spring dwarf nematode (Aphelenchoides fragariae), the Ministry of Agriculture announced $1,935 million to contain the disease and benefit nearly two thousand strawberry producers in the country, since the largest part belong to peasant family farming. At the regional level, and once the plague was detected in the Los Lagos Region, the Seremi of Agriculture, together with the agricultural services and representatives of the producers, formed a technical table to address measures to prevent the spread of the nematode. For its part, the SAG increased the analytical capacity of its network of laboratories and authorized two private laboratories to support the diagnosis of this nematode. To date, in addition, it has already approved the special use of 13 pesticides to control this disease.
Strawberries in Italy trade at EUR 5/7.50/kg in Bergamo then Cesena (EUR 5/6.50/kg), Rome (EUR 7/8/kg), Bologna (EUR 5/7.50/kg), Milan (EUR 6.50/9/kg).
The 2022 season is not a great success for the Polish raspberry growers. It was a season of high hopes that seemed to come true at the start, followed by a series of bitter disappointments as prices plummeted, especially for processing raspberries. The end of the current season of Polish raspberries is also disappointing. The harvest of remontant raspberries was quite good, but most of the berries were of very poor quality due to the weather. This had a negative effect on prices in this segment, which were already quite low. Prices for raspberries for processing were lower than in the same period last year. In addition, they fell below the level of sales prices at the beginning of August 2022. Now, raspberry prices range from 6.00 to 7.50 PLN/kg (EUR 1.23-1.54/kg). The situation is no better for raspberry growers for the fresh produce market. The abundance of low-quality berries has also brought down prices here: they are 7.5% lower than 2 weeks ago and 34% lower than in the same period last year.
The situation on the raspberry market is currently not satisfactory for growers. Prices dropped drastically and many growers ended their harvest. The rates dropped to PLN 6-6.5 / kg, which, according to the producers, is below profitability. The situation of raspberry prices on wholesale markets is slightly better. The prices are higher, however, as is the case in wholesale trade - it can be unpredictable and volatile. According to Maciej Kmera, an expert on the Bronisze wholesale market, the prices of raspberries are estimated at PLN 100-120 per 4 kg plato. At the Kalisz Stock Exchange, you have to pay PLN 12-16 for a half-kilogram box of raspberries. On the "Zjazdrowa" wholesale market in Łódź, a 250 g packet of raspberries costs 5-7 PLN.
The Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PKS) stated that the export of frozen raspberries dropped during the first eight months of this year by 33% compared to the same period in 2021, but despite this, higher revenue was achieved. From January to August of this year, 44,331MT of frozen raspberries were delivered to foreign markets, compared to 66,445MT last year. Despite the lower volume of exports, the revenue was EUR 229.8 million in 2022, compared to EUR 202.7 million during the same period in 2021.
The reason is the higher price of raspberries in 2022.The average purchase price for a kilogram in 2021 was EUR 3.5, and this year it was at EUR 5 or higher. However, the Chamber warns that a price reduction is expected in the coming period, primarily due to a significant drop in demand in the US and Western Europe. The drop in demand for frozen raspberries is uneven and ranges from 10% in France to as much as 40% in Germany, which are the two largest markets for frozen Serbian raspberries. France and Germany together buy almost half of the total exported quantity of this product. The Chamber notes that estimates on the ground indicate that the 2022 raspberry season in Serbia brought slightly more than 90.000 tons of fruit and that around 15.000 tons of frozen raspberries from last year's harvest remained unsold in cold storage.
Having stayed at the level of 25,000 UZS/kg (USD 2.3) from the end of July to the beginning of September 2022, wholesale prices for raspberries in Uzbekistan began to grow from the first ten days of September and a steady growing trend has formed since then. According to EastFruit price monitoring , from September 2 to September 30, 2022, the average wholesale prices for fresh raspberries increased from 25,000 to 35,000 sum/kg (from $2.3 to $3.2), i.e. by 40% within one month. At the same time, as of September 30, 2022, the average wholesale price for raspberries in Uzbekistan is 22% lower than on the same date in 2021.
According to producers and market participants, 1-1.5 months remain until the end of the current raspberry harvesting season in Uzbekistan. As the statistics of past years show, in the last few weeks of harvesting, prices for raspberries at least do not decrease, but rather grow. Considering the still active current demand for fresh raspberries from processors - producers of frozen raspberries, a further increase in wholesale prices for fresh raspberries in the next month or a month and a half is the most likely scenario.
The raspberry season in Poland and Ukraine has almost ended this week, while in Uzbekistan there was still about a month left before it ended. As a result, prices for raspberries in Poland and Ukraine rose sharply, and by the end of the reporting period, this berry was already offered at $4.69/kg and $3.83/kg. It should be noted that the season for producers of late varieties of raspberries in these countries was rather unfortunate, and prices were kept at levels significantly lower than last year. So, at the moment, raspberries in Poland are sold for a third cheaper than at the beginning of October of the previous year, and in Ukraine this berry has fallen in price by almost half. Meanwhile, in Uzbekistan, raspberries were also already a quarter cheaper than in 2021, but prices did not change for the second week in a row, although they added about 40% on average in September .