Blueberries in Charts: Higher prices are coming

August 06 , 2019

In this installment of the ‘In Charts' series, Colin Fain of Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

After a well-supplied market saw a period of low prices, the blueberry industry is holding onto their seats, waiting for prices to rise. In fact, they should see this increase in the next couple of weeks. To illustrate the data behind this forecast, the chart below shows the historical trend of prices steadily rising from week 30 to week 40.


Historical U.S. shipping point prices per kilo by week

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


This trend follows the strong seasonality of the blueberry industry, with July reporting the lowest average prices of the year. From there, the industry saw two peaks around April and October.

Interestingly, the period between July and October shows the largest difference in pricing of the entire year's offering. 


Historical U.S. shipping point prices per kilo by month

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


To bring these prices into context, it's important to look at the blueberry volumes shown in the chart below. These reflect an inverse of pricing; they also demonstrate a sharp drop from August to September. The category volumes stay low until November, and this period accounts for the lowest volumes of the year.


Historical U.S. market blueberry volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


Looking at the data, readers can appreciate the important volumes available from the U.S. and Canada in July, yet as the supplies from these two origins wind down, the volumes fall off. Afterward, Peru’s fruit begins to arrive on the market and has a strong presence on the market in September. Volumes begin to rise again in October and November with Argentina's blueberry shipments.


2018 U.S. blueberry volumes by origin

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics and the IBO)

[This chart made publicly available by the IBO and can be accessed here]


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.

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