With Mexican raspberry and blackberry producers gearing up to send their first shipments to China, one industry body says five-year returns could reach as high as US$100 million.
Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA) said growers in the western coastal states of Jalisco and Michoacan expected their first consignments to leave by the end of January.
Chinese authorities agreed to allow Mexican raspberry and blackberry imports in September last year.
Technicians from the Latin American country’s National Service for Agricultural Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) have been visiting farms in both states to ensure they comply with export protocols.
504 hectares of blackberry production land and 150 hectares of raspberry production have been registered in Michoacan for export to China, from a total of 10 companies.
In Jalisco there are 58 hectares of blackberries and 427 hectares of raspberries owned by three companies who will ship to China.
Mexican soft fruit association Aneberries predicted sales over the coming five-year period of between US$50 million and US$100 million, with smaller export volumes in the first 12 months.
News website Informador.com.mx said Aneberries president Mario Andrade Cárdenas believed the first shipment would be sent on Jan. 27, with additional consignments every three days after that date.
“The export volumes have still yet to be determined as it is a very perishable product, orders are only made a day or two beforehand and fortunately demand has been higher than we expected, so we still don’t know how many boxes or tons will be sent, but I believe it will be a larger number than we initially thought,” Cárdenas was quoted as saying.