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Rabobank report:

Global blueberry industry set for growth in coming years

The global blueberry industry is set to expand in the coming years as long as the sector embraces operational efficiency and 'premiumization.' North America, particularly the US, will remain the largest destination market for fresh and frozen blueberries, with Peru, Mexico, and Chile being the largest exporters in the fresh category, according to a recent study by Rabobank.

"Supply-side challenges such as logistics and input costs are easing, but margin pressures will continue to prompt the industry to improve efficiency and productivity, including variety upgrades. The industry has also raised the bar in terms of fruit quality. This will be critical for fostering further consumption growth. Despite the inflationary environment, consumption of blueberries in key markets has been quite robust," says David Magaña, Senior Analyst – Fresh Produce at Rabobank. "Adoption of new technology and varieties will be key to providing blueberries that will keep satisfying consumers globally."

Global fresh blueberry exports to expand
Over the past decade, global fresh blueberry exports have expanded steadily, driven by a diversifying base of growing regions. Countries with the highest growth rates in recent years include Peru, South Africa, Morocco, Mexico, Poland, and Spain.

Potential lingering effects of El Niño-related weather anomalies are likely to limit the rebound of Peruvian exports in 2024/25. However, in the longer run, Rabobank forecasts that global fresh blueberry exports will resume a growth trajectory as yields improve in Peru and exports from other growing regions continue to expand. By 2026/27, global fresh blueberry exports are expected to exceed 1 million metric tons.

Largest blueberry exporters
Peru, Mexico, and Chile remain the largest exporters in the fresh category, but a warm winter in Peru delayed the harvest and will negatively impact yields and shipments. Blueberries and other berries represent the largest share by value of Mexico's agricultural and food exports, and the berry industry is the fastest-growing agricultural industry in the country. Chilean fresh blueberry exports, on the other hand, have declined since the peak exports of the 2020/21 season, and Rabobank expects further declines in 2023/24.

Frozen blueberries are one of the most popular frozen fruits in the US
According to Magaña, frozen blueberries rank among the most consumed frozen fruits in the US market in terms of per capita availability and are the fastest-growing fruit in the category. US imports of frozen blueberries continue to expand, with Canada remaining the largest source, followed by Chile, Peru, and Argentina.

"The powerful combination of health benefits, convenience, flavor, and versatility that blueberries offer will continue to be critical demand drivers, setting the industry up for success," stresses Magaña.

For more information:
David Magaña
Tel.: +31 30 216 2758
Email: [email protected]

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