The blueberry industry is becoming truly global, with fast-growing supply and/or demand in most continents. The latest Rabobank Blueberry Report says that per capita availability is set to continue an upward trend in the U.S. the EU-27+UK, China, and other markets, driven by continued production expansion.
David Magaña, senior fresh produce analyst for Rabobank, says that Peru is marching on and Mexico, as well as other up-and-coming exporters, are expanding shipments. Going forward, industry trends include: the probability of declining unit prices for Peruvian exports, stagnation in Chilean production, and an increase in substrate-grown berries in Mexico.
In North America, product availability remains a top priority for the blueberry industry. Since 2016, U.S. blueberry imports have outpaced exports. Harvested acreage in selected states has doubled over the last 15 years. Organic blueberries now account for about 12 per cent of the U.S. fresh blueberry exports.
Magaña predicts that as the blueberry industry faces increasing input costs, labour issues, and logistical challenges, companies will be pushed to become more productive and efficient, and to consistently provide high-quality fruit. The adoption of improved cultivars and technologies such as the use of substrates, protected culture, and mechanical harvesting will help growers solve a number of supply-side challenges.
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Source: RaboResearch Report October 4, 2022