Gro Expects Protracted Rise in Blueberry Prices

22 July 2021

Blueberry yields in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Canada have been hurt by the heat wave that scorched the region at the start of peak growing season in June and July. 

As a result, US prices for blueberries, currently averaging $2.55 for a pint, are running nearly 9% above the five-year average for this time of year, and Gro expects prices will continue to rise until blueberry imports pick up in the September-November period.  

US blueberry prices are typically at their lowest in July and August, during peak season. The US normally produces nearly 60% of its blueberries, with the rest supplied by imports. 

Gro users can monitor blueberry prices using Gro’s US Fresh Produce Price Browser, which tracks a wide variety of fresh produce items in the United States. The app, which can be used to monitor weekly, monthly, and year-to-date price changes across the country, has a built-in heatmap to visualize how prices change over time, allowing users to determine the effects of seasonality or other external factors on price.

Highbush blueberries, also known as “tame” or “cultivated” blueberries, are the main cultivar grown in the Pacific Northwest. Highbush blueberries are not as hardy as wild blueberries and require very specific growing conditions. They also contain more water, meaning drought can cause stunted growth and soft berries. Gro users can track growing conditions for both US and Canada blueberry regions using Gro’s Growing Conditions app—in this display, for example, growing conditions are highlighted for fruit crops in Oregon.  

Major blueberry producing areas in Washington, Oregon, and Canada’s Okanagan Valley, have experienced extreme temperatures and intense drought, as seen via the Gro Drought Index

Imports of blueberries into the US, especially from Peru, Chile, and Mexico, tend to pick up in the fall. Assuming normal production levels in those countries this year, that should result in solid supply and less price volatility in the US later this year. Gro’s Growing Conditions app can monitor conditions around the world, such as in this display of fruit crops in Mexico.

This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.

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