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Peru exported US$1.2m of blueberries to China in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of more than 1,200 per cent on the year-earlier period, according to exporter association Adex.

In the two years since it gained access to the Chinese market it has grown to become Peru’s fifth-biggest blueberry market behind the US, the Netherlands, the UK and Canada.

“Consumers in China are opting for healthy, high quality products for which they are prepared to pay better prices,” Adex said.

Total blueberry exports climbed 229 per cent in the first quarter to US$48.6m. Of this, US$31.7m was shipped to the US, US$9.56m to the Netherlands and US$3.2m to the UK. Adex noted that Canada and Hong Kong has also shown strong growth in the first three months of the year.

Camposol, Hortifrut-Talsa, Hfe Berries Peru and Hass Peru were among the main exporters.

Peru is currently the fifth biggest blueberry exporter in the world. However, with planted area growing rapidly (there were around 4,000ha planted last year), the country is moving up the rankings and is expected to become the world’s number one exporter in the coming years.