Early Argentine blueberry arrivals cause drop in prices
High volume, low demand and lack of promotion combine to cause lower prices, but overall shipping estimates for 2010-11 remain, the Argentinean Blueberry Committee said in a statement.
Argentine blueberries arrived in overseas markets the week of Oct. 18-24 (week 42, 2010), about two weeks early. Overall, nearly 1,140 metric tons of the fruit had arrived in the United States, the European Union and Asia, compared with about 809 MT for the same dates in 2009.
The U.S. received nearly 827 MT in week 42, 2010, compared with about 594 MT for the same dates in 2009, a 40 percent increase. Asia has received about 47 MT in week 42, 2010, more than three times the shipments over the same dates in 2009, when it received about 14 tons. The European Union received 265 MT in week 42, compared with 201 MT in 2009, a 39 percent increase.
Despite the large, early shipments, the estimates for the entire 2010-11 season remain at 12,000 to 12,500 MT, the committee said.
The blueberries arrived before promotional activities began in those markets, causing a drop in price, the statement said. As those efforts begin, the supply should be begin to fall, and prices should recover, the committee said.