This is the first “Crop Report” of the 2020-21 season of the Chilean Blueberry Committee, this time, starting three weeks earlier than usual, responding to the need to monitor the earlier crops, either because they come from protected production stimulating an early maturation or because they correspond to new varieties of very early harvest. However, the Chilean blueberry harvest season is presenting a long start phase that this year began in week 30 with 1 ton from the fourth region but maintaining its large volume of exports between mid-November till mid-February.
Until week 38 of this year, Chile has shipped 179 tons of fresh blueberries, mainly from the Coquimbo region (72%) and secondarily from the Valparaíso region (24%). The main varieties in harvest are EB 9-2 and Jewell, each with more than 18% of participation in the accumulated volume. Ventura and Emerald follow with more than 13% share each, other varieties in harvest now are Aurora; Farthing; First Blue and Rocio among others, that timidly contribute with some few volumes to exports. In total, there are 19 varieties in harvest that have been registered in the shipments until last week and this speaks of the varietal change that is taking place in the Chilean blueberry industry.
In terms of markets, the early shipments have been mainly directed to the Far East market that received 54% of the 179 tons shipped between weeks 30 and 38. In the second place is North America with 44%, the remaining percentage is divided between Europe and the Middle East.
The fresh export estimate for the current season is 111,500 tons, a similar figure to that of 2019-20 and 2% higher than the previous season. Although in terms of volume there are no significant variations, the varieties share is changing, as it can be seen in the first export records, the new varieties are advancing at a steady pace as the old varieties are decreasing their contribution, especially those that have lost attractiveness in front to better quality ones.
Another positive aspect of this season is the greater water availability in regions V, Metropolitan, and VI. The greater rains in winter and snow accumulated in the mountain range, have given breath to the producers affected last year due to the drought and a better fruit filling is expected accordingly this season.
The next crop report will be on October 1st. We hope, you have a good sales season for the blueberries from Chile.
CHILEAN BLUEBERRY EXPORTS, BY WEEK AND ACCUMULATED UP TO WEEK 38, IN TONS