During the culminating event of 2023, the “Berry Market 2023,” orchestrated by the Moldovan Berry Growers Association “Pomuşoarele Moldovei,” FAO economist Andriy Yarmak unveiled a comprehensive analysis of the current state, trends, and future prospects of the global berry market. EastFruit reported several surprising revelations from Yarmak’s presentation.
Among the noteworthy revelations was the fact that, despite a decline in export volumes for the first time in years, global berry trade surpassed that of bananas in both 2021 and 2022. The conclusion of 2022 saw fresh and frozen berry exports generating approximately US $13.7 billion in revenue, outpacing the US $13.7 billion worth of banana trade. The berry trade exhibited a remarkable annual growth rate of 9.8%, or $1.2 billion, significantly outpacing the overall fruit category, which grew at an average rate of 4.3%, or $4.5 billion, per year.
Yarmak also highlighted the widening gap between fresh blueberries and fresh strawberries in global trade. By 2022, fresh blueberries claimed a 34% share in the global trade of fresh and frozen berries, securing a spot among the top 5 fruit products in terms of export volumes, alongside oranges.
While fresh strawberries maintained a strong position in global trade, Yarmak attributed this to several positive factors. Notably, strawberries’ widespread cultivation worldwide, advancements in breeding techniques enhancing taste and transportability, and the shift towards indoor cultivation were identified as key contributors to their market standing.
Raspberry exports emerged as the fastest-growing segment within the berry category, experiencing an average annual growth rate of 20% between 2018 and 2022. Yarmak pointed out that, despite fresh blueberries growing at a rate of 12% annually during the same period, fresh raspberries dominated trade volume in value terms due to their higher market prices. He emphasized the cyclical nature of frozen raspberry prices, occasionally plummeting to remarkably low levels.