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Peru: Blueberry exports quadrupled

Staff writer |
The Peruvian Association of Exporters (ADEX) said that blueberry exports between January and July 2014 had amounted to $5.6 million dollars, 408% more than in the same period in 2013.

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The manager of ADEX's Agricultural Area, Giannina Denegri, said, "the demand for this fruit will continue to increase as there is a worldwide commercial window between the months of September and November; a period in which, unlike other countries, we grow cranberries in our country."

The executive also stated that this product's potential was huge, so much so that they expected to double the hectares sown. "There were 550 hectares of blueberries distributed in Lima, La Libertad and Ancash at the end of 2013. Now, we estimate there will be some 4,000 hectares in the next five or six years. Peru could be within the first three blueberry producers in the world within the next decade."

Ms. Denegri said the advantages of cultivating blueberries were that the various species of this fruit could adapt to different climates and that they had a good return on investment. "It's an expensive crop if you start from scratch, but the profits are, in average, twice what was invested."

The United States was the main destination for Peruvian blueberries as they concentrated 68% of total purchases, $3.8 million dollars (+2,398%), between January and July.

Following the United States were the Netherlands with $1.2 million (+ 96.4%) and Hong Kong with $ 257,000 (+1,244.6%).

Sales to the UK decreased by 51.5% ($ 121,000) because Peru’s direct competitors, such as Chile and Argentina, were supplying them in this period.

According to ADEX, the current average export price of blueberries to Europe (air-shipment cost plus freight) is $7 dollars per kilogram. The price varies depending on the scarcity of the product in the market, i.e. prices increase in times of low production (a period in which Peru sells more). The average yield per hectare is 16 tons.

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