Prices rising

Ecuador: Banana production down 25%

Due to weather conditions and the attack of black sigatoka, banana production volumes are falling by 25%, according to the Regional Corporation of Ecuadorian Banana Producers (Agroban).

As a result, there is lower supply of the fruit in the domestic market and international shipments fell by around 20 million boxes until September. 

Manuel Romero, Agroban's executive director, said that due to having fewer bananas for export, the spot price of a box can now cost up to US$ 9, while the official price is US$ 5.50.

Romero blamed the drop in production to the low temperatures, which make the fruit grow slower and consequently delay the harvest.

He explained that bananas do not complete their growth cycle, which lasts for twelve weeks, so packing plants are refusing great amounts of the fruit.

Romero also said that some farms are more vulnerable to bad weather conditions, because they were not properly maintained when the sector faced the black sigatoka crisis, despite the fact that the government offered to fumigate the plantations of small growers with farms of up to 10 hectares, but in his view this only materialised "when the damage had already been done."

Emergency was declared on 13 July and ended on 7 September, but it was extended for two more weeks.

Source: Eluniverso

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