The spot market is hurting Ecuadorian bananas. The country's increase in production and the consequences of the world health crisis have caused the sale price to fall through this modality to $ 3.50, a value that is much lower than the support price.
"During 2019, banana producers planted an estimated 4,000 hectares of new bananas and, additionally, replanted another 4,000 hectares. These plantations began to produce starting November and December 2019, generating greater exportable production in 2020," the unions stated.
Producers who signed a contract with their exporters are being paid the minimum support price, which was set at $ 6.40, at an annual average (under previous agreements) or at a weekly average according to regulations to face this crisis under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the unions corroborated.
The Ecuadorian Banana Cluster, which is made up of the Exporters Association (AEBE), the Marketing and Export Association (Acorbanec), Agroban and the Chamber of Agriculture of the Second Zone, said they were concerned about the current situation, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the protests of a group of farmers.
According to the statement, an estimated 70% of this year's contracts were signed with clients from abroad and there were also signed contracts with local producers. "However, nearly 40% of local producers did not agree to sign contracts and preferred to sell the fruit in the spot market, even though regulations require the formality of the business."
The year started favorably, but banana exports to China were practically paralyzed in January because of the COVID-19 outbreak and mandatory quarantine there. In mid-February, Turkey closed its borders with Iran, Iraq, and Syria because of the increase in cases in Iran, which affected banana exports to the Middle East as they enter Turkish ports to be forwarded to their neighboring countries by land.
“In March, COVID19 expanded worldwide and affected important destination markets for banana exports such as Russia, Poland, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Spain, Eastern Europe (with Ukraine and Georgia), and the Middle East, among others.”
It is necessary to quantify and regularize the planted area in order to formalize the sector, clarifying the marketing schemes to be able to export that production, to maintain competitiveness and leadership in world banana exports, they stated.