Chilean blueberry exports slow due to late season start - FreshFruitPortal.com

Chilean blueberry exports slow due to late season start

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Chilean blueberry exports slow due to late season start

Export volumes in the first month of Chile's blueberry season are 71% lower than expected at 33 metric tons (MT), according to the Chilean Blueberry Committee.

The committee was previously forecasting 115MT for the period but harvests were delayed due to low temperatures, particularly in the northern and south central areas.

However, it is optimistic this year's season will pick up and be similar to the previous one, notching up a total of 78,000MT in exports.

"Early signs point out that, besides certain temperature increases during last summer, weather has been similar to the last season, registering a good winter chill and a delayed spring in certain south central areas," a committee crop report said.

The industry expects export volumes to increase sharply next month.

"Currently, shipments will continue to slowly increase, while a more significant rise is expected early November, once harvests start in the Metropolitan Region. However, considerable volumes are expected to be picked just during December," the report said.

An estimated 30,000MT of blueberries are to go to the frozen industry, although the committee said no contracts were in place yet. It expects frozen figures to be out soon giving a clearer picture about U.S. demand.

Related story: Southern Chilean blueberries show advanced plant growth

Photo: Chilean Blueberry Committee

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