The province’s blueberry producers began to export their fruits through Ezeiza, in Buenos Aires. They also did it through freighters, leaving from Chilean ports.
Shipments abroad started at a slow pace, but will begin to pick up speed with the beginning of October, one of the months with the highest concentration along with November, they clarified in the private sector. Most of the shipments were shipped by sea to the United States and the rest to Europe. By air route, the destinations have been the USA, the European Union and the Middle East.
However, within the production plan, local exporters have ruled out departures from the Benjamin Matienzo airport due to commercial air restrictions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, as happened the previous year. The high freight rates of the companies and the lack of operation of the cargo lines, both in the Ezeiza terminal and the local one, once again affected the market.
“To fly, we have to pay a freight that is not paid by the fruit (for the price). We are exporting, but when the volume begins to increase there will be fruit that will not be able to leave the country ”, emphasized the reference of the Association of Blueberry Producers of Tucumán (Apratuc), Francisco Estrada. “Until the airports are opened and the country reconnects with the world, this will be impossible,” he said.
The sector estimated a production of 6,500 tons for this year, approximately: around 3,500 fresh fruits would be exported; while some 3,000 tons would be destined for industry.
In 2020 there was a 25% drop in local production. Between 3,500 and 3,800 tons were shipped to international markets.
In that period, the values of air cargo were almost three times higher than in 2019. In this case, the rate to Miami until October 2020 had risen to US $ 2.35 and US $ 2.50 . Shipping costs are significantly lower than those of aircraft, although the transfer from the ports to the place of unloading takes between 20 and 25 days – by plane it reaches the distribution point between 48 and 36 hours.