In this week's ‘In Charts' installment, Cristian Crespo of data visualization tool Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the article will look at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic to see what factors are driving change.
With the California blueberry season now underway, current forecasts are pointing to a significant year-on-year increase in harvests. This, along with a delay in the Mexican season, has led to relatively concentrated volumes and resulted in total arrival volumes in the U.S. at a five-year high in April, as you can see in the chart below.
Historic monthly arrival volumes of blueberries in the U.S.
The U.S. blueberry market has been growing significantly every year, amid increasing demand and global exports. One of the production countries that has seen the biggest increase is Mexico.
Meanwhile, per-kilo prices in week 17 were US$7.90, the lowest in five years, and US$0.20 lower on average the same date last year.
Historic blueberry prices in the U.S. market (USD per kilogram)
The growth from Mexico has been astonishing. In April the country exported 7,992 metric tons (MT) of blueberries, almost 2,000MT more than in April last year and 267% more than in 2015. As we can see in the chart below, the indications are that it will continue to grow over the coming years, as the planted surface area grows and young plantations come online.
Historic monthly arrival volume of Mexican blueberries in the U.S. market
Prices of Mexican blueberries have fallen as the volumes have risen, as you can see below. In April, the per-kilo price was US$8.20, which is US$0.50 lower than last year and the lowest level in five years.
Historic weekly prices of Mexican blueberries in the U.S.
The U.S. blueberry market is set to be demanding and competitive in the future. Independent of the growing demand for blueberries year by year, with Mexican and Peru growing significantly, Chile continuing to be a big player with its large volumes, and Argentina and Uruguay also supplying fruit, we can expect the downward price trend to continue.
In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.
You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 23 fruits we currently track.