The opportunities for produce haulers to haul imported fresh fruit and vegetables continues to increase as foreign farming operations increasingly recognize the demand in the United States and Canada for year around availability of produce. Here we take a look at the exports of two South American countries, who are exporting a majority of their fresh produce to North America.
Five years ago there were virtually no blueberries being grown, much less exported by Peru. Today, the South American country has 10,000 acres and continues to expand due to surging demand from the U.S., Europe, and China, according to the USDA report.
The U.S. is Peru’s primary export market, account for over 50 percent of blueberry exports in 2016 (54 percent). Much fewer “blues” are exported to the Netherlands (24 percent), the UK (13 percent) and Canada (2 percent).
The USDA report points out total exports of Peruvian blueberries are projected to reach 40,000 metric tons in 2017, up 42 percent from 28,139 metric tons in 2016 and nearly four times the exports of 10,303 metric tons in 2015. The bulk of Chile’s fresh blueberry exports to the U.S. arrive from September to December, though export shipments can begin in August and continue into April.
The majority of Peru’s blueberry farms are found in the northern coastal region of La Libertad, where the sunny and dry climate allows for nearly year-round harvest.
Peru’s blueberries rank third among that country’s fresh fruit exports.
While Peruvian asparagus exports are expected to be lighter than normal during the first half of the season, shipments are expected to make up a lot of ground the second half of the season. However, by season’s end, total volume is expected to be close to normal. Peak Peruvian exports should kick in around Labor Day.
Chilean Grape Wrap up
Grape exports to North America by Chile rose 11 percent in the 2016-17 season. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association reports that exports to North America totaled 364,770 metric tons, up 11 percent compared with 2015-16.
Additionally the USDA confirms U.S. imports of Chilean grapes from October 2016 through May 2017 totaled 341,000 metric tons, up 10 percent from the previous year.
North America buyers received half of Chile’s total 2016-17 exports of just more than 730,000 metric tons. Chilean grape exports to all global destinations were up 4 percent in 2016-17.
In 2016-17, the Far East received 23 percent of Chilean grape exports, with Europe taking 17 percent and other destinations accounting for 9 percent of exports.