Volume shipments of blueberries from Chile will likely arrive even later than first anticipated.


Promotable supplies will not be available until the week of Jan. 11, according to a Dec. 2 prediction from the Santiago-based Chilean Blueberry Committee.


Early-season freezing and wide-spread lower temperatures in Chile are to blame.


In mid-November, importers had predicted volume shipments could arrive in late December or the first week of January. Even those predictions had product arriving several weeks later than usual.


In addition to the late start, importers also are scaling back, some severely, earlier projections of up to 30% category growth this season.


Chile isn’t the only blueberry-exporting country experiencing major weather-related problems. Growers and importers are putting the size of the Argentinean crop at about 8,000 to 9,000 tons, down from pre-season estimates as high as 15,000 tons.


The Chilean Blueberry Committee was created in August to work with the Sonoma, Calif.-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association on increasing sales during Chile's traditional November-April season.