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Fruits and nuts growing import markets in Ecuador

Fruit and nuts are the fourth most imported products in Ecuador. Apples, pears, grapefruit, citrus and melons are also imported.

The USDA has published a guide for companies that want to export to Ecuador. Ecuador (16.5 million inhabitants) is a challenging market for food and horticultural products due to the continuing economic stagnation due to the national debt and liquidity problems associated with its dependence on oil extraction and external debt (China is their largest creditor).

There are nevertheless still opportunities for export: domestic cultivation cannot meet consumer demand, which means that import is necessary. The appetite of younger and lower to middle income consumers for imported products continues to grow. The free trade agreement between Ecuador and the European Union offers companies assistance with exports.

Ecuador's retail food sector is divided into five main categories: supermarket chains, outdoor markets, independent grocery stores, small grocery stores and neighbourhood stores. The monthly expenditure on food is on average around $ 250 (€ 225). 48% of the Ecuadorian population buys their food from local grocery stores. However, sales in supermarkets are increasing, partly due to the greater availability of imported products. Most supermarket chains have stores in large and medium-sized cities. In many small cities these supermarkets operate under different names.

For more information: USDA export guide Ecuador

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