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Edgar Chalhoub, President of Banasan (Colombia):

"In 2021 we sold a total of 13 million boxes of bananas to Europe and South Korea"

In 2021, despite the complications derived from the pandemic, Colombia increased its banana exports. According to data from the DANE, between January and September of last year shipments totaled 770.1 million dollars, i.e. 12.7% more than in the same period of 2020.

“2021 was a challenging year amidst the second phase of the pandemic. However, we were able to export nearly 13 million boxes of bananas and recorded sales of nearly 500,000,000,” said Edgar Chalhoub, president of the international banana marketer, Banasan, based in Santa Marta.

However, this fruit's trade chain faced important drawbacks last year, including the supply crisis and inflation. “The most critical issue for us was the global shortage of cardboard boxes for packing bananas. We had to import cardboard boxes from Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala, something we had never had to do before. Not having boxes means not being able to export and we could not afford to lose the investment and time we had dedicated to this crop. The increase in fertilizer costs has also had a very great impact on this production, as some that have doubled their value," Edgar stated.

"Nealy 80% of the Colombian bananas are sent to Europe. We started exports to South Korea in 2020. Colombia didn't export any bananas to that country. It's a market that imports about 25 million boxes, 20 million from the Philippines and the remaining 5 million boxes from Ecuador. The Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, which came into force in July 2016, eradicated the tariffs for the Colombian banana, making them more competitive in this area.”

"In 2020 we exported one million boxes, which is equivalent to 20% of the bananas they import from Ecuador. Currently, nearly 6% of our company's total export is directed to South Korea.”



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