Chilean blueberry season passes its peak -

Chilean blueberry season passes its peak

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Chilean blueberry season passes its peak

As the Chilean blueberry season starts to slow down, evaluations have begun to assess how the fruit performed in overseas markets after hitting peak volumes.

Andrés Armstrong

Andrés Armstrong

According to the Chilean Blueberry Committee, 4,606 metric tons (MT) of the berry were shipped in week 6, setting in motion the chapter of the season where exports start to decline week-on-week.

The group said harvests were currently focused in Chile's southern regions, with a cumulative volume of 81,080MT registered until the week, representing a 3.8% reduction year-on-year.

The U.S. and Canada continued to be the leading markets with a combined 68% share, followed by Europe with 22% and the Far East with 10%.

At, we caught up with committee president Andrés Armstrong, who said time would tell whether volumes could outstrip the previous season.

"This season started a bit late and at the start there was some loss in volume, and at times we had differences of up to 30% compared to the previous season; a situation that has been adjusting itself," he said late last week.

"We expect that with the dispatches from this week, shipments will start to drop in a more significant way. We will be in the order of volume we had last season, between 90,000-92,000MT.

In terms of markets, he said there had previously been growth in Asia and Europe, but both markets had seen reductions in 2015-16.

"It's been falling, in contrast to other seasons, in Europe due to the effect of the exchange rate, and that's something that's happened in Asia too," Armstrong said.

He highlighted season opening and closing periods were when the industry had to pay more attention to information, in order to make the right changes to packaging and promotions.

"We have been implementing a market diversification strategy," he said, highlighting changes had been made without leaving out the U.S. as the main market.

"For the future we are in a more comfortable situation and we have a better position to channel or fruit where we get better results."


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