Posts Tagged “Chilean blueberries”

Southeastern Blueberry Shipments Should Rebound this Year

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Following 2 years of weather-related disappointing seasons, Southeastern blueberry shipments should more normal this season.

In March 2018 frosts hit fruit that had an early set due to a warmer than usual winter. 

J&B Blueberry Farms Inc. of Manor, GA., picked only 200,000 pounds last season, off, down from the usual 1.25 million pounds of fresh blueberries from 170 acres.

Barring a late frost, the company expects a more typical harvest beginning about April 15th, with peak shipment coming in May before the season winds down in late June or early July.

Last season was the second in a row for low volume for Swain Foods of Patterson, GA. Production fell to 150,000 pounds last year. The grower-shipper markets fruit from a total of about 250 acres which includes his own farm as well as other growers.

Swain Foods expects to ship over 1 million pounds of fruit this season, beginning around the end of April, with highbush peaking in the first two weeks of May and rabbiteye in mid-June. The season should wrap up by mid-July.

In 2018, Georgia shipped 50 million pounds; 30 million in 2017 and 67 million in 2016. 

The volumes are much less compared to 2015’s 85 million pounds.

Alma (GA) Nursery & Berry Farms, shipped only 700,000 pounds of fresh berries and 1 million pounds for the frozen market last year. 

This season, the company looks to move 2.5 million pounds of fresh highbush and rabbiteye berries and 600,000 pounds of frozen fruit from about 400 acres. Shipments should start about April 5th, with peak loading coming around May 12th and the first week in June, before completing the season in late June.

If the weather cooperates, Alma Nursey & Berry Farms expects Georgia as a whole to ship around 100 million pounds of berries this season.

Florida Blueberry Shipments

Naturipe Farms of Grand Junction, MI has operations in Florida and started harvest the first half of March and ich.-based Naturipe Farms expects to start limited harvesting around March 11, loadings are now at a peak.

Wish Farms Inc. of Plant City, FL expects to ship about 4 million pounds this year from the 600 acres working with about 19 contract growers. 

Harvest started in mid-March with peak shipments occurring the first week to 10 days of April. Blueberries picked and shipped north of Gainesville, FL should continue until Memorial Day.

Crystal Valley Foods, Miami, FL. was importing Chilean blueberries which overlapped a little with its new season for Florida berries. The company will be shipping Florida fruit through May. The company will be handling Georgia blueberries from April through June or early July, and Alabama product from May through June.

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Chilean Blueberry Exporters Set Export Record; U.S. Receives More than Half of Volume

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PortEvergladesBy Chilean Fruit Exporters Association

SANTIAGO, CHILE — Chile’s blueberry exporters have achieved the highest weekly export figure in the history of the sector in the country, having shipped some 11,575 tons of fruit during week 51. With 45% of the 2017-18 campaign now completed, a total of around 46,000 tons of Chilean blueberries have been exported over the season as a whole, during which time producers and exporters have benefited from favorable climatic conditions.

According to the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association’s Blueberry Committee, the season has continued to progress in a normal manner, setting it apart from the previous campaign when the crop arrived several weeks early leading to complications in export markets.

During the last week of December (week 52), Chile exported 9,600 tons of blueberries, and it is estimated that over the coming weeks shipments will continue to be maintained at around 9,000 tons, the Committee said in its latest Crop Report.

To date, the US remains the principal market for Chilean blueberries, having received 55% of volumes exported during the current season, followed by Europe at 25% and Asia at 16%.

In terms of organic blueberries, a segment which is being tracked by the Crop Report for the first time, Chile exported 411 tons of fruit in week 52, contributing towards 2,630 tons for the campaign to date as a whole.

Chilean organic blueberries have so far accounted for around 6% of total exports in the ongoing 2017-18 season; a percentage which is expected to increase when harvesting begins in central the Araucan region and other areas further south.

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Imports: Chilean Blueberries Coming Soon; More Citrus Arrivals are Expected

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DSCN3254+1Imported Chilean blueberries begin arriving this month.  Meanwhile, citrus imports from Mexico and Brazil are expected to fill a void of available Florida citrus this season.

Chilean blueberry production is down slightly from last season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer berries arriving by boat at U.S. ports.  The South American country is the largest producer of blueberries in the Southern Hemisphere, exporting a total of 103,000 tons in 2016-17.   Of that amount, 65.7 percent, or 67,707 ton was exported to North America, which is the largest global market of Chilean “blues.”

For the 2017-18 shipping season, Chile’s fresh export volume is predicted to be at 101,700 tons.

Chilean blueberry shipments should be back on schedule this year, with the peak season running from mid-December through February.   The country had an unusally early start in 2016.

Shipments on ocean vessels should begin in late November, and ramping up in December.

Early arrivals are shipped by air because of the lack of fruit volume to fill the large shipping containers used by ocean-going vessels.

Citrus Imports

The majority of oranges imported to Florida arrive from Brazil and Mexico, and that total volume is projected to surpass what is grown in the hurricane-damaged Sunshine State this season.

Last season, Brazil has accounted for 46 percent of the state’s orange imports, followed by 44 percent from Mexico.  Costa Rica and Belize are among the other countries supplying citrus.  Most grapefruit imported into Florida comes from California and Texas.

The Florida Citrus Commission has approved an adjusted $17.8 million budget that takes into account an increase in imports that will help cover crops lost in September to Hurricane Irma.

The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has projected a preliminary $2.5 billion impact to Florida’s agriculture industry from Irma, with estimated losses to the citrus industry at $761 million.

Even before Irma, the industry had suffered steady declines in production because of deadly citrus-greening disease.

The Florida Department of Citrus projects its revenue will come from nearly 59.3 million boxes of Florida citrus and 65 million boxes of imports.

Oranges will account for 53.7 million of the taxed boxes from Florida and 63.95 million of the imported boxes.


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Chilean Blueberries, Stone Fruit Volumes are Increasing

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DSCN7076Imports of Chilean blueberries and stone fruit to the US are returning to seasonally normal volumes following a slow start.

Exports to the U.S. were close to their peak in the first half of February, with over  6,000 tons of Chilean blueberries shipped to the U.S. the last week of January.  This was a new high.  So the gap between this season’s volume and last year’s has rapidly diminished.  Through early February, Chilean shipments to North America were down only 2 percent.

Chilean Stone Fruit

The Chilean stonefruit season also got off to a slow start, and the effects from that have rippled throughout the season due to weather issues.   Fewer boats transporting Chilean nectarines and peaches have been arriving in the U.S., and their arrivals have been spaced out further than usual.
Now the challenges are more logistical than weather related  as the volume of grapes is overtaking some of the stonefruit.
A couple of ships containing peaches and nectarines from Chile were supposed to arrive last week in Southern California.  The second ship, scheduled to arrive at the end of the week, had its stonefruit cargo bumped to a later trip.  So, instead of waiting three or four days between stonefruit arrivals, importers will have to wait about 10 days for the next shipment.
Port of Long Beach Chilean imports and Southern California citrus – grossing about $3500 to Dallas.

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South American Fruit Volume Increasing at U.S. Ports

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DSCN5089Here is a glimpse of imports arriving at American ports in the weeks ahead ranging from blueberries to apples and pears.

Chilean blueberries will be arriving is good volume through March.  In early February about 48,000 tons had been shipped to North America, which accounted for about 65 percent of Chile’s total blueberry exports this season to date.

Pear exports from both Chile and Argentina to the U.S. should increase this season, however, a huge Washington apple crop is expected to limit Chilean apple exports to here.

The first Chilean bartlett pear shipments arrived in Long Beach, CA the week of January 26th. Moderate volumes should be arriving within the next week, with higher volumes by February 20th.  Peak volume arrivals should occur throughout March before starting to taper off in April.  What is not known is whether West Coast labor problems could result in some fruit being diverted to East Coast ports.

 Regardless, pear volumes  should be up over last season, when Chilean fruit was hit hard by freezes, but comparable to a normal year.
In addition to Chilean pears, Argentina bartlett pears should begin arriving about two weeks after Chile, with peak volumes starting the first week of March.
Chilean Apples

Chilean galas should start to arrive in the U.S. in mid- to late March, but how many will come this season remains a question, mostly due the big Washington crop.

Southern California imported fruit – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

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Chilean Freeze Damage is Now Being Down Played

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DSCN3237+1Since our initial report October 27th on a devastating freeze in Chile, it is now appearing the damage was not nearly as serious as initially thought.

A highly damaging freeze could drastically reduce imported Chilean winter produce — and hauling opportunities for American produce haulers.

Chile was hit hard a year ago by freezing temperatures, and this time around it doesn’t seem as bad.

While limited volume of Chilean blueberries have been arriving in the U.S. by air since early October, it will be early December when “blues” begin arriving by boat and significant volume will occur.

Besides blueberries, kiwifruit, cherries and apples had been cited as being adversely affected by the cold. The freeze occurred October 8-9.

Chile is perhaps been known for its table grapes, which normally arrive in good volume at U.S. ports during January, February and March.  However, the vast majority of Chilean grape vineyards are located much further north in Chile than where the October freeze occurred.

More updated information on Chilean winter imports should become available in the weeks ahead.  Chile is a primary exporter of fresh produce to the U.S., with produce arriving at ports on both coasts, particularly during the winter months.  This is possible since that South American country has opposite growing seasons from the United States.


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