The South Central Zone continues to provide the highest harvest volumes where the focus is on mid-season varieties that are already passing the peak but still maintain relevant volumes. The southern zone keeps volumes on the rise, coming mainly from the Araucanía and now from Los Ríos region which is also joining with more strength. The lack of labor force is still felt in some fields in the south central zone, while in the south is less felt.
All in all, the shipments for week 53 reached 8,622 tons. For this issue of the crop report, due to the fact of presenting an extra week in the year 2020, the analysis presented in this editorial will consider the departures from the start of the season until December 31st of each year. Thus, there is a total of 50,064 tons exported in 2020 compared with the 51,076 tons of 2019 on the same date, this is 1.9% less. This differential is due in part to the fact that the 2019/20 season had an early start and timing in the first part and also to the effect of the lower availability of pickers during December 2020, which has had an impact on the volumes harvested this season.
Regarding the markets, comparing the volumes shipped between the start of the season and December 31st of each year, there is a 2% drop in the case of North America and 29% less in the Far East, while shipments to Europe have increased by 16%. In terms of market share, North America represents 47% of the total Chilean blueberry exports, Europe 37% and the Far East 15%.
For their part, organic blueberries reached 6,881 tons exported as of December 31st, 2020 vs 5,548 tons in 2019 (24% more). Most of this volume (51%) came from the northern regions that have already finished their season and showed a growth of 21% compared to 2019. Currently the volumes come mainly from the south-central area, where a strong increase in shipments from the Ñuble and Biobío regions is seen.
CHILEAN BLUEBERRY EXPORTS, BY WEEK AND ACCUMULATED UP TO WEEK 53, IN TONS