Sep 22, 2020Blueberry imports from Latin America increase to meet year-round demand
U.S. demand for fresh blueberries reached an all-time high in 2019, and to meet this increased demand, both domestic and global production of fresh blueberries have trended upward.
According to USDA ERS, U.S production for the fresh market climbed 284 percent since 2000 to almost 372 million pounds in 2019. Blueberries have different production seasons across different regions throughout the year.
To support year-round demand of consumers, imports have grown and now not only supply blueberries in the off-season months of domestic production, but increasingly in the in-season months as well. U.S. fresh blueberry imports rose to a record 472 million pounds in 2019, up 1,177 percent since 2000.
Latin America, led by Peru, emerged as the major supplier of U.S. blueberry imports. Fresh blueberry imports from Peru surpassed those from Chile and accounted for 30 percent of the imports in 2019. Imports from Chile accounted for almost 30 percent of fresh blueberry imports in 2019, while imports from Mexico accounted for 19 percent.
Other top suppliers, Canada and Argentina, exported smaller quantities to the United States. Countries exporting to the United States during U.S. production’s off-season have expanded their seasons to capture market share and higher prices, increasing competition for some U.S. producers. This chart and detail appear in the Commodity Feature in the Economic Research Service’s Fruit and Tree Nut Outlook, March 2020.