As of February 2019, Ecuadorean banana exports to the European Union (EU) decreased by 11.5% over the same period of 2018, according to information provided by the Commercial Intelligence System (SICOM) of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. The Banana Marketing and Export Association (Acrobanet), which published on April 8 the evolution of Ecuadorian exports of this product between the months of January and February, is aware of this decline.
According to the report, in 2018 Ecuador exported 21,653,668 boxes to the countries of the European Union, and in 2019 it only sent 18,726,845 to that destination. The president of the Banana Producers Regional Corporation (Agroban), Gustavo Marun, said that one of the reasons for this decrease was the lack of State policies that took the banana sector as one of the most important sectors in the country. He assured that Ecuador was becoming more and more expensive and that it had become a provider of last resort. "The more that the supply grows in Central America, the less necessary Ecuador becomes as a supplier of fruit."
"We are losing space in the market, especially in Europe," he added. However, Eduardo Ledesma, the president of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), considered that the total exports of 2018 and 2019 have not changed. "By week 12, the country has exported 80 million boxes," even though the sector had estimated there would be growth.
He said the reduction to the EU was due to the winter season, as there are hectares affected, but also others that are producing to the maximum. He added that the sector grew 5% every year, but that it would grow more if it didn't have so many obstacles. He referred to the Banana Law being studied by the National Assembly. Ledesma believes this legislation should be filed. "There should be a new law that protects small producers and establishes a referential price, guarantees, as well as sanctions if the exporter does not comply.