Argentina: Tucuman airport expansion opens to blueberry shippers
Blueberry exporters in Argentina's northern Tucuman region are set to be given a boost in the coming days, as the new airport expansion begins operations.
Tucuman Blueberry Producers' Association president Francisco Estrada said the export season had begun in August and most fruit had so far been shipped via seafreight.
"Shipments to the U.S. began between Sept. 8 and 9, and every week we have been slowly increasing our volumes," he said.
Work has been underway for a while at the key blueberry-growing region's airport to build infrastructure specifically for cargo.
This will allow cargo to be loaded onto planes 24 hours a day, whereas before exporters had to wait until there was a free slot in between passenger flights.
"This gives an enormous operative capacity and greatly increases the number of planes that can be loaded in Tucuman," Estrada said.
"From October this year, all cargo going to the U.S., and also going to Europe via Brazil, will be able to depart from Tucuman."
Some 5,000 metric tons (MT) of blueberries are expected to be shipped from th region this season, with a further 2,000MT from Salta. Peak levels of production are expected around mid-October.