Seasons coinciding, complicates blueberry market
The last blueberry season experienced an unprecedented course: seasons coinciding and lower harvest volumes
Late production Southern Europe
The blueberry supply from Spain and Morocco started late this year. As a result, we experienced problematic shortages at the end of March and early April.
At the moment that the volumes were available, everything came at the same time and the prices came under pressure.
For the Spanish growers the season was bad because the high prices from the start of the season could not compensate.
Early Serbian blueberry harvest
After the Spanish and Moroccan season, abbGrowers has been able to supply the blueberries of its Serbian growers. This first “Serbian” season that abbGrowers has now run under its own flag was characterized by a very early start. Already in the third week of May the production started,10 days earlier than normal. The first berries were of very good quality. Afterwards, a long period of rain resulted in a less good quality of the last 20% harvest by mid-June. We saw too many soft berries. Despite of that the Serbian growers had a good season.
Overproduction in July
At the end of June, all countries were in production. From Italy, Spain to the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. In the whole month of July there was an overproduction which caused prices to drop.
From the end of August it became clear that shortages would occur in the end of the Dutch season. In addition, supply from Argentina and Peru was also later. The low supply was accompanied by higher prices.
In week 38 the European season was over, four weeks earlier than last year.
“On average, production in the Southern European countries was 20% lower this year and 25-40% lower in the Northern European countries. I have never experienced this, “Fred Douven concludes. “The weather conditions caused a late start of the harvest in the south, and due to the high temperatures, northern countries followed earlier. The high temperatures also had a shorter production period as result.
The quality of the blueberry was good, but the dimensions lagged behind. The volume remained behind due to the smaller berries. The expectation is that 35 to 40% less is harvested in the Netherlands. In spite of that, the growers are generally satisfied because the maximum return has been achieved through good cooperation.”