According to preliminary figures from the Union of Agricultural Exporters of Non-Traditional Products of Panama (Gantrap), due to the pandemic, the losses in the export of watermelons, melons, and pineapples during the 2019-2020 agricultural season, which ended in April, amounting to $ 8.8 million.
Due to the decrease in the consumption of these fruits and the closure of some marketing channels because of the coronavirus, the fruit that was sent to Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe, was marketed at bargain prices or had to be disposed of.
According to Ricardo Salas, the president of Gantrap, "this year producers and exporters are having losses." Due to the spread of the pandemic in the destination markets, customers canceled many orders, and the fruit rotted in the fields. Watermelon losses stand at 2.3 million dollars; while the melon sector has lost 1.8 million, and the pineapple sector 1 million dollars, Salas stated.