Weekly Product Updates

W32: Blueberry Update

Fresh Blueberry
China
Portugal
Published Aug 17, 2023
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In W32 in the blueberry landscape, despite the global blueberry industry experiencing consistent growth in recent years, the International Blueberry Organisation’s (IBO) 2023 report highlighted challenges such as increased costs and inflation affecting markets. Furthermore, new hectares (ha) entering production contributed to growth, compensating for yield reductions. Pricing stability, with decreases in some regions, was also observed. Peru's dominance notwithstanding, the Americas' production share fell below 50%. Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) experienced significant production growth. Challenges include rising input costs and margin pressure, prompting a focus on efficiency and higher yields. In 2023, global production exceeded 2 million metric tons (mmt), with fresh shares rising to 65% from 50% since 2016.

The Chilean Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) has expanded the "List of registered participants for export to China" to include new fruit varieties like blueberries, plums, nectarines, and grapes. Interested growers must complete a registration survey by August 28. However, new participants under SAG codes can only export after General Administration of Customs China's (GACC) approval for the 2023/24 season. However, farms registered in the prior season are eligible for export. Audits may occur during the season and a similar registration process will occur in Dec-23 for other fruit types.

The price of blueberries in Galicia, Spain, has significantly declined due to increased competition from Poland, Romania, Macedonia, and Portugal, which have lower labor costs. Galician producers, who experienced blueberry cultivation growth due to high prices and favorable conditions, face challenges from large foreign plantations offering lower-priced products. The influx of cheaper imports has led to a drop in market prices, adversely affecting small Galician growers.

Lastly, Poland has emerged as a significant player in the blueberry market, with a consumption rate of 1.83 kg per capita in 2022, similar to that of the United States (US). As the largest dessert blueberry producer in Europe, Poland's domestic production is rapidly growing. With a focus on promoting berries collectively, including strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi, Polish growers have effectively extended the blueberry season and built permanent consumption habits. Despite being the 6th largest global producer of dessert blueberries, Poland has achieved remarkable production growth of over 60% in the last three years, particularly in 2022, with a 25% increase. Blueberry plantations cover around 12 thousand ha, contributing to an annual collection of 65 thousand (ha) tons of fruit, exporting more than one-third of its total production.

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