In 2020, Russia has consolidated itself as the second destination for Ecuadorian bananas, behind the European Union (EU). According to data from the Banana Marketing and Export Association (Acorbanec), Russian imports of Ecuadorian bananas between January and July increased by 2.39% over the same period of 2019, totaling 45.4 million boxes.
During the first seven months of the year, the EU received 65.3 million boxes of bananas from Ecuador, a higher quantity than the 58.7 million boxes it purchased from the country in the same period of 2019.
Ecuador exported 230.32 million boxes of bananas to all markets between January and July 2020. 28.38% of them were sent to the EU, 19.75% to Russia, 15.72% to the Middle East, 9 93% to the United States, 7.19% to East Asia, 5.99% to the Southern Cone, 5.22% to Eastern Europe, 4.60% to Africa, 1.82% to the United Kingdom, 0.89% to Oceania (New Zealand), and 0.52% to EFTA (Norway).
As Richard Salazar, the president of Acorbanec, pointed out, Russia has been an important market for Ecuador for 12 years and, despite having suffered economical contractions due to its economy's heavy dependence on oil and gas and to the crisis caused by COVID-19, Russian purchases of Ecuadorian bananas have continued to grow.
“Russia is Ecuador's second-largest market, with almost a 20% share this year. 97% of the bananas that Russia imports come from Ecuador. We are undisputed leaders in that market,” Salazar said, adding he believes they can still grow more by working on a trade agreement with the Eurasian zone, with Russia at the helm, to improve access.
"At this moment, consumption in Russia stands at 10 kilos per capita a year and it has the potential to grow to 12.5 kilos, like in Europe," the union leader stated.