Agronometrics in Charts: Holiday season likely to witness a respite from elevated blueberry prices
Blueberry prices in the U.S. market have remained elevated in the past few weeks, climbing as high as $44.75 per package. Volumes from Michoacan and Jalisco, Mexico, scheduled to commence harvesting during the second week of November, could wield some degree of influence on the market's behavior.
Currently Mexico's contribution is relatively modest, albeit steady, ensuring a consistent stream of blueberries to the market. This consistency can be attributed to Mexico's proximity to the U.S. market, rendering it the most natural and accessible supplier.
“Growers are tirelessly chasing the spot market and the fight for blue fruit can be upsetting,” says Luciano Fiszman of Gourmet Trading Company. In light of the prevailing circumstances in Peru, the shortage of blueberries presents opportunities for Argentina to emerge as a prominent player in the market.
Fiszman attributes this emergence to a combination of favorable weather conditions, reduced cultivation and harvesting expenses, commendable fruit quality, and, most significantly, a superior pricing structure. Chile is also poised to assume a pivotal role in bridging the supply deficit caused by the ongoing circumstances in Peru.
Forecasts indicate that Peru is likely to experience a delayed peak, potentially coinciding closely with the onset of the Chilean peak. This juxtaposition in peaks has prompted the Chilean blueberry industry to closely monitor developments in neighboring Peru, where volumes have declined by a significant 52% compared to the same period in the previous season.
Peru's peak is anticipated to transpire during weeks 48-50, where it may still intersect with the Chilean peak in January. Some respite from the high pricing could be expected as supplies from Mexico, Peru and Chile begin to ramp up. As the offshore season unfolds, the industry remains dedicated to devising innovative strategies aimed at meeting the ever-expanding demand for fresh blueberries.