Posts Tagged “Chilean blueberries”
By 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.
Imported 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.