A recent detailed 18-page National Berry Report by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service details volumes of berries placed in the market since Jan. 1, 2023. It offers information on strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
Peru produces about 68 percent of the blueberries in the market so far this year.
The market has received a total of 112.3 million flats of blueberries, up from 101.2 million a year ago so far this year. Peru has shipped 76.1 million flats of blueberries in 2023. For the same dates in 2022, Peru provided 60.3 million flats.
Running a distant second this year is Chilean blueberry volume, which still accounts for a strong 17.2 million flats. This is up from 14.5 million a year ago.
Mexico’s volume to the market is slightly down this year, to 11.4 million blueberry flats, about a million below the 2022 figure.
The state of Georgia dropped way off this winter, from 11.5 million flats early in 2022 to 6.7 million thus far in 2023. Also, Argentina’s blueberry volume to the U.S. this year is significantly down by 1.2 million, to less than 700,000 flats so far in 2023.
Colombia and Uruguay are both slightly down as blueberry sources, collectively accounting for less than 200,000 flats.
Since the first of the year, strawberry volume from Mexico, totaling 26.7 million flats, almost equals the combined total from California and Florida.
California has shipped 13.7 million flats so far in 2023. Oxnard provided 13.5 million of those total California flats. With Florida providing 14.1 million, the two states in 2023 have combined to ship 27.3 million flats of strawberries.
Florida’s 2023 volume is down year-on-year, from 16.0 million year-on-year. California’s strawberry volume has dropped from 16.7 million a year ago.
Mexico’s volume is up three million flats to date over 2022. A year ago, Mexico’s total strawberry exports to the U.S. totaled 23.6 million flats.
Pharr, TX, is significantly increasing its lead as the strongest Mexican strawberry crossing point. To date in 2023, Pharr’s strawberry volume is 17.6 million flats, up from 14.3 million a year ago. Laredo, TX, rose to 6.0 million flats, up from 4.2 million flats of strawberries in the first six weeks of 2022. The other significant crossing point for Mexican strawberries this year is Otay Mesa (San Diego, CA) which is down two million flats to 3.0 million.
Raspberries and Blackberries
USDA figures show very consistent volumes for both raspberries and blackberries entering the market this year, compared to the same period in 2022. The 2023 blackberry volume is 27.9 million flats, versus 27.3 million in 2022. Raspberry volume for 2023 is 29.9 million flats, up slightly from 28.5 million a year ago.
Mexico is the overwhelming raspberry source, providing all but 300,000 flats for the U.S. market so far. California’s raspberry volume plummeted from a half-million flats in early 2022 to a quarter-million so far this year. So far this year, Canada and Guatemala combine for 38,000 flats of raspberries.
Mexico has supplied about 62 percent of the blackberries for the U.S. market so far this year. Mexico’s blackberry volume this year is up around 1.5 million flats to 17.3 million. All other sources of blackberries account for 10.2 million flats, with California shipping 9.3 million flats into the early 2023 market.
Georgia’s blackberry volume is down about 300,000 flats to 784,238 total in 2023.
Guatemala has shipped about a half-million flats of blackberries in the early weeks of each of the last two years.