The world’s leading blueberry exporter recorded a drop in exports for the season until week 1 of 2016, but weather conditions have at least been kind for harvesting and fruit quality.
In an update, the Chilean Blueberry Committee said shipments were down 12% to 46,022 metric tons (MT) for the period.
The committee added that a lack of extremely high temperatures in growing zones had however ensured fruit development without interruption or stress for the berries, and this could be seen in the shipments sent over the last six weeks.
In terms of markets, the distribution was similar to previous seasons with 66% bound for the United States, and as momentum got underway arrivals would resume in all markets with greater activity at the retail level.
The committee has positive expectations for the coming four weeks with projected weekly shipments above 7,000MT.
The committee said the weather phenomenon El Niño had reduced to minimal levels in terms of temperature in parts of the Pacific Ocean near Chile, which meant more normal temperatures were expected; the only expression of El Niño that has remained in the country has been more clouds and relatively high humidity, which are both favorable for fruit development.