Argentina Blueberry Imports by U.S. Should be Lower as Competition Increases

Argentina Blueberry Imports by U.S. Should be Lower as Competition Increases

A337While imported Argentina blueberries are arriving at U.S. ports, boat arrivals will be heaviest during October and November, before winding down by the end of the year.

The country typically exports about 65 percent of its total volume to the U.S., but that could decline about 10 percent  this year, due to increased competition from Peru.

The first “blues” arrived by air in early September.

Argentina exporter Hortifrut Expofresh reports the country’s blueberry exports to the U.S. should approach 11,000 metric tons, similar to a year ago.  Argentina will ship more organic blueberries this season, plus should have more volume of blueberries by sea container compared to last season.

Argentina exporters will be sending more fruit to the U.S. by boat via Chile this year, which has a transit time of 17 days.  In total, it is estimated about 35 percent of Argentina blueberries will be exported to the U.S. by sea containers this year.

Wish Farms of Plant City, FL reports the addition of Savannah as a port to receive Argentina blueberries is expected to increase shipments by boat. Fruit shipped by vessel can be cold treated instead of fumigated. Since fumigation isn’t allowed for organic fruit, cold treatment is important for that category to grow.

Wish Farms notes the quality of Argentina fruit is expected to be outstanding with really good taste.

Argentina exported about $58 million in fresh blueberries to the U.S. in 2017, compared with $79.7 million in 2016 and $62.5 million in 2016. U.S. imports of organic Argentina blueberries totaled $7.7 million in 2017, up from $5.6 million in 2016.

Gourmet Trading Co. of Los Angeles reports said the season looks good, with a favorable exchange rate expected to benefit exporters.  A normal winter after a warm fall in the growing regions has occurred.  However, spring temperatures were cooler than normal.

Argentina is experiencing its first exports to China between September and December this year.