Earlier this week (46) there were major hail events from the central to the south zone of the country. The O'Higgins Region was the most affected, with damages reported in different fruits. However, in blueberries, the impact on exports will be comparatively low, due to the blueberry hectares in this region are not significant (only represent 7% of the total planted area in Chile). However, hail was also reported in some sectors with greater area of blueberries in the Maule Region. Mainly in the pre-mountain areas of the districts of Longavi, Parral and Retiro. The damages in the other regions were reported to a lesser extent.
From the Metropolitan Region to the south 2,000 ha of blueberries could have some damage according to preliminary assessments conducted these days. The reduction in the exports is estimated at 4,200 tons, either due to fruit fall or by a greater rejection due to the effect of bruises. Thus, the reduction would be 4% and the total fresh exports are reduced to 100,800 tons from the 105,000 tons initially estimated. This is a smaller figure, which will affect the early and mid-season production, with immediate effects from weeks 46 to 48.
The shipments of week 46 totaled 625 tons, of those 66% were sent to North America, 24% to Asia and 10% to Europe. Up to date, 1,905 tons have been exported, 14% more than last year at same week. The organic blueberries represent 41% of the total exports to date, being North America the main destination with 99%.
The harvest is progressing at a good pace and volumes are already entering to the peak. The most important varieties continue been Jewel, Emerald and Rocio.
The harvests of early varieties were interrupted at the beginning of the week by hail and rain.
In this area, rains and hail were also recorded in the premountain sectors, with the VII Region being the most affected. The harvest continues slow, due to the effect of the low temperatures.
The season has not yet started.