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Chile blueberry sector ships highest weekly volume of fruit in industry's history

Chile's blueberry exporters have achieved the highest weekly export figure in the history of the sector in the country, having shipped some 11,575 tons of fruit during week 51.00411

With 45 percent of the 2017-18 campaign now completed, a total of around 46,000 tons of Chilean blueberries have been exported over the season as a whole, during which time producers and exporters have benefited from favorable climatic conditions.

According to the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association's Blueberry Committee, the season has continued to progress in a normal manner, setting it apart from the previous campaign when the crop arrived several weeks early leading to complications in export markets.

During the last week of December (week 52), Chile exported 9,600 tons of blueberries, and it is estimated that over the coming weeks shipments will continue to be maintained at around 9,000 tons, the committee said in its latest crop report.

To date, the United States remains the principal market for Chilean blueberries, having received 55 percent of volumes exported during the current season, followed by Europe at 25 percent and Asia at 16 percent.

In terms of organic blueberries, a segment that is being tracked by the crop report for the first time, Chile exported 411 tons of fruit in week 52, contributing towards 2,630 tons for the campaign to date as a whole.

Chilean organic blueberries have so far accounted for around 6 percent of total exports in the ongoing 2017-18 season -- a percentage that is expected to increase when harvesting begins in central Araucan’a region and other areas farther south.