Weekly Product Updates

W8 Blueberry Update: South Africa's Blueberry Season Faces Global Shortages, New Delhi Reduces Duties on Blueberries and Cranberries, and Prince Edward Island's Blueberry Production Declined by 50% in 2023

Fresh Blueberry
Peru
Published Feb 29, 2024
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In W8 in the blueberry landscape, Peru's blueberry exports declined by 24% YoY in the 2023/24 season, with most shipped by sea. The delayed South African blueberry season brings optimism amid global shortages, with increased demand and prices. Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island's blueberry production dropped by 50% in 2023, but field prices have dropped. Lastly, Spanish cooperatives introduce nitrate-free blueberry varieties and advanced farming technology, while India reduces import duties on blueberries and cranberries.

Peru's Blueberry Exports Dropped by 24% YoY in the 2023/4 Season

During the 2023/24 season, Peru's blueberry exports have declined by 24%, amounting to a total of 204.9 thousand tons shipped between W24 and W6. Most of these exports (96.8%) were delivered by sea, a 26% reduction in this type of shipment. Conversely, air shipments surged by 205%, constituting 3.2% of the total export volume.

Delayed South African Blueberry Season Brings Quality Optimism Amidst Global Shortage

The 2023/24 South African blueberry season is delayed due to a prolonged and wet winter, causing a delay in harvest and uncertainties in yield forecasts. Despite these challenges, optimism is high for the quality of the product, with forecasts reducing the initial export estimate of 25 thousand tons. The global shortage of blueberries, particularly Peruvian ones, has driven increased demand and prices. Domestic demand for blueberries is also rising, with a 10 to 20% increase in consumption at various retail levels. South Africa also seeks access to the Indian and Canadian markets and sees China as an attractive prospect.

Prince Edward Island's Blueberry Production Dropped by 50% in 2023

Blueberry growers in Prince Edward Island face challenges due to rising equipment costs and climate change, reducing their profit margins and field prices. In 2023, blueberry production decreased by nearly 50%, with an estimated 19.6 million pounds (lbs) yield. Despite this, field prices dropped by half, from USD 0.70/lbs to USD 0.35/lbs. The weather-sensitive nature of wild blueberries and their short harvest period may lead to reduced yields. The association hopes for an adjustment in prices by 2024.

Spanish Cooperatives Introduces Nitrate-Free Blueberry Varieties and Advanced Farming Technology

Spanish cooperative Onubafruit has introduced five new blueberry varieties, Demba, Sana, Selma, Aila, and FV1905, at Fruit Logistica. Based in Huelva, the company is the first in the world to market berries without nitrate contamination through its partners at SCA Costa Huelva. Onubafruit uses technology to monitor and control irrigation and nitrogen fertilizer efficiency, preventing nitrate contamination. The company also offers other fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, citrus, stone fruit, avocados, and more. Despite the 2023/24 season and farmer protests, Onubafruit has not faced any logistics issues. However, the province needs better water management due to scarce rains.

India Cuts Import Duties on Blueberries and Cranberries

The government of New Delhi has fully waived customs duty on importing extra-long staple cotton and reduced duties on specific varieties of imported blueberries and cranberries. The Finance Ministry has decreased the import duty on certain blueberries and cranberries from 30% to 10% in some cases and 5% in others, aligning with the Department of Commerce's recommendation.

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