This week begins this season´s edition of the Chilean Blueberry Committee crop report. At this point the expectations on the Chilean blueberry production and exports of this new season are very positive. Especially after one of the most difficult seasons ever.
So far, the current 2017/18 season is presenting a regular behavior in terms of weather and the crops are slightly delayed due to smooth spring. This year, the winter presented a great accumulation of chilling hours and a mild spring that up to date (October 17th) presents a slightly lower thermal accumulation in all the regions (around 20% less compared to the historical). This good climatic behavior has been expressed in optimal flowering and a slow ripening in the first orchards of the IV Region. Depending on the location there is a slight delay in the ripening between three and seven days.
Up to week 41, 134 tons of fresh blueberries have been exported, this figure is considered within normal although only a 20% of the total accumulated the previous season on the same week. The total fresh exports forecast for the current season is at 101,700 tons. A 1.6% less than the previous season, and although the production is forecasted to increase by 3.9%, the volumes destined to the processed industry are expected to be higher due to the lowest stock of frozen blueberries currently recorded in the U.S. It is expected that the frozen blueberry exports will reach the 40.000 tons in the current season.
In conclusion, the most important climatic factors have already played their role in the Chilean blueberry production for the current season, and with the expectations of volumes and consistent quality fruit.
We hope a good season to all involved in this dynamic industry.