Canary bananas are struggling to remain competitive. On the one hand, and according to the Association of Organizations of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands, the European Union is not regulating in their favor; and on the other, third countries are competing with very low prices. To this we must now also add the outlets that buy cheap and then obtain margins of between 120% and 220%.
"It has been an extraordinary year when it comes to prices, because the production volume has been adjusted to the demand; something that hadn't happened for years," explains Domingo Martin, president of Asprocan." This has created a comfortable situation for American and African bananas, allowing them to penetrate even deeper into the Spanish market."
The production volume, totaling about 390 million kilos, almost 50 less than in 2017, has caused prices to increase to levels that are good for the producer, but negative for the buyer. "We'll have to invest more in communication, as we have ignored that a bit this year and we have lost around 10% of our market share," says Martin.
During this year 2018, the margin obtained by Canary banana distributors has been, on average, between 30% and 60% higher than that of imported bananas. The invasion of American and African bananas is not their only headache; the international fruit market is becoming more extensive, with greater quantities and more varieties produced and an incessant arrival of products from all over the world.
Exports in 2017 stood at more than 1.178 million kilos, while this year they won't even reach one million, although this is still considered a good figure.
"What we are achieving is a great feat," say sources from Asprocan. "We are dealing with large competitors from other continents; multinationals with cheap productions. Growing slightly or, at least, not losing ground is already an achievement. We are not interested in having excess production either."
Source: El País