2014 a recovery year for Argentinian blueberries
In 2014, favourable weather accompanied the Argentine blueberry season, totalling 16,600 tons, meaning roughly 30% growth compared to the 2013 campaign, which was affected by a localised tornado with hailstorms in Entre Ríos and early frosts which affected all the early harvests in this province and Tucumán, resulting in 12,755 tons of fresh blueberries for export.
Argentina is the leading supplier of early fruits in the Southern Hemisphere, with 80% of early fruit (3,900 tons), accounting for 25% of the country’s total output. In this sense, its forte is not the large volume, but its leadership in early harvest blueberries. The country’s early fruit production has grown 200% from 2011 to the present, due to significant investments made in varietal reconversion between 2006 and 2012, the first results of which we are seeing today. These plantations have not yet reached full maturity, so Argentina is expected to keep on growing in this window.
The main destinations for Argentine fruits are the USA with 62%, then Continental Europe with significant growth in Germany, and the UK with 33%. Although the market share in Asia has increased, it has yet to reach a significant volume, and producers are still waiting for signing of the protocol with China, a market that remains impenetrable to fresh Argentine blueberries. As Inés Pelaez, General Manager of the Argentinian Blueberry Committee, explains, “China has a total of 20,000 hectares planted for consumption during the season of the year when we are not producing, which means an ideal opportunity for Argentina to provide out-of-season supplies.”