Peru saw its blueberry exports increase 57% year-on-year during 2017, with the value of shipments rising by a slightly lower level.
The rapidly-growing industry exported 41,329 metric tons (MT) of the fruit last year compared to 26,327 in 2016, Peruvian Blueberry Producers’ Association general manager Sergio del Castillo Valderrama told website Agraria.
He also said the fruit had brought in US$351 million – a 46% year-on-year increase over the previous year’s US$240 million.
The U.S. received 44% of the total – down from 56% the previous year – while the Netherlands took 26% and the U.K. took 11%, which are both within two percentage points of the 2016 share.
China, meanwhile, received 10% in the first full year blueberry exports were permitted into the Asian country.
“In 2017 shipments to China were invigorated and the country is already taking a significant share. In the medium-term China could become the second-largest market for Peruvian blueberries after the U.S.,” Del Castillo Valderrama said.
The value of shipments means that blueberries are now within Peru’s top four non-tradition agricultural exports, along with table grapes, asparagus and avocados.
There are currently 5,000 hectares of blueberry farms planted in the country.
For the blueberry campaign running from August 2017 until March 2018, 44,671MT of fruit are projected to be exported.