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Bolivia: Banana crisis

Exporters of bananas from Cochabamba state that they are experiencing an emergency due to a weekly loss of a million bolivianos (1 Bolivian boliviano = 0.142653 U.S. dollars). The losses are blamed on the import restrictions that Argentina implemented last year. The neighbouring country is the main importer of Cochabamba bananas.

Argentina imported over 95% of the fruit’s total output, says the manager of Ebita and former manager of la Cámara de Productores y Exportadores de Banana, Igor Guzmán.

Yesterday, speaking on behalf of Cochabamba producers at a conference in the Cadexco, Guzmán stated that Argentinian traders have tightened the conditions for imported fruit.
In February this year, Argentina’s customs implemented the Declaraciones Juradas Anticipadas de Importación (DJAI), a system that intensifies restricting regulations, even leading to a ban on revenue on July 27.

The restrictions are said to have been employed in regard to a 10 billion dollar trade surplus in Argentina’s economy in 2012. In reality, claims Guzmán, this policy is meant to protect domestic markets interests. Each individual importer in Argentina has to prove he can export the same amount of produce.
Casualties of this policy include over 10,000 workers in Cochabamba’s banana industry. Banana producers in the region are therefore imploring governmental officials to negotiate an alleviation of the Argentinian restrictions.
Guzmán says a letter already went out to the Viceministerio de Comercio Exterior and the Secretaría de Comercio. A reply is eagerly awaited, as export has grind to a halt: last week no bananas were distributed to Argentina.

“We expected the implementations to be active until June,” says Guzmán, “but it now seems they’re here to stay. Shelf life is running out, we are losing 30 to 35% and prices are dropping.”

Source: Lostiempos


Publication date: 8/20/2012


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