15 Sep 2023

Slow start for blueberries from South Africa


Although they have been discouraged by a late start to production, South African exporters of blueberries have reported excellent markets thus far this season.

The sector continues to aim to export about 25,000 tonnes during this campaign.

when a sluggish start, volumes are already showing signs of growing, and when airfreight predominated, there is a transition to greater marine exports, according to Brent Walsh, chief executive of Berries ZA.

"Airfreight volumes are however higher than usual this time of the year, due to a substantial shortage in the majority of the markets," he said.

Walsh added, "The berries are sitting wonderfully on the bushes waiting for the last ripening before the peak harvest. The quantities have not been impacted.

"We have witnessed really favorable prices for our early season exports due to the blueberry shortage in our export markets. Although we anticipate that this will ease as we approach our busiest weeks, we are optimistic that this year's pricing will offer some respite to South African blueberry growers after the devastating effects of the Transnet strike in October 2022.

The Middle Eastern markets have received the majority of the early airfreight shipments. "We will see this shift to greater volumes directed to more traditional markets in the UK and European Union," he said. 

Read the full article on Fruitnet

Foto di Tobias Reich su Unsplash

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