Peruvian Blueberries threatens US produce
Peruvian blueberries have been set as a target as it accounts for most of the dramatic increase in US’ blueberry imports in recent years. The South American country posted a CAGR of 174% in exports to the US during 2015-2019 and posted 69% YoY growth in 2019, causing a threat to the US’ domestic producers.
The Section 201 investigation will give the US growers an opportunity to suspend Peruvian imports, and, depending on the outcome, reasonably limit the number of blueberries that come into the US for some time.
Throughout this investigation, which will last a maximum of 180 days, the governments and producers involved will have the right to a hearing and may present evidence to support their positions. There has been a 36 percent increase in Peruvian blueberry exports year-on-year as the season comes to an end. The 2021-22 blueberry campaign in Peru created a record of 120,000 direct jobs.
This decentralised development has been due to the production of blueberries in regions such as Ancash, Cajamarca, Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Moquegua and Piura. It has also been accompanied by investments in infrastructure and social programs to improve education levels, health and well-being in production areas.
In 2016, only around 13 varieties of blueberry were harvested in Peru, while today, an estimated 60 different varieties are grown. By the end of November, 73 Peruvian companies had shipped almost 175,600 metric tons (MT) of fresh blueberries.
The U.S. accounted for 55 percent of the export volume, equivalent to 95,700MT, an increase of 46 percent year-on-year. A further 52,000MT and 24,000MT were destined for Europe and China respectively, representing growth of 11 percent and 75 percent. India, which recently opened for Peruvian blueberries, has absorbed 26,000MT of blueberries by air so far this season.
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