International markets consume less Ecuadorian bananas

In the first nine months of this year, fruit exports have reached 190 million boxes, a decrease compared to last year's 214 million.

Consumption in the first nine months of 2012 will determine a reduction of the Ecuadorian banana exports for next year.

Figures from the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (Aebe) confirm that, so far the fruit that has been sold in the external market has reached 190 million boxes, accounting for $1.377 million.

The figure represents 10% less on exports between January and September of last year, when the total amount reached was 214.4 million boxes and sales for $ 1.49 million.

By the end of 2012 the industry expects a revenue of $1.920 million. In 2011 the industry moved more than $2,000 million.

The months with fewer fruit outputs, as recorded by Aebe, were July, August and September. Also, there is a reduction in banana sales for 6 destinations of the 10 buyers that the country has.

However, the four remaining buyers, Africa, the East and Middle East, increased their purchases by 1%, up to 377%.

Africa alone went from buying 1.2 million boxes to 5.9 million boxes this year.

Producers and exporters, agree that the drop in sales is due to the harsh winter season experienced by the country, but also the cold in summer.

Gustavo Marun, of the Ecuadorian Banana Regional Corporation (Agroban), ensures that nearly 25 million cases have not been exported.

He also reported that the humidity was fatal for more than 70,000 banana hectares. "They were burned because of the Black Sigatoka."

"The producer did not have sufficient financial resources to respond to this fungus," said Wilfrido Macias Valencian producer, in Los Rios.

This, he said, is produced in a market where the official banana box price is not respected, set at $5.50.

He considers producers should had received a price of up to $1.50. Finally, Macías
confirms that the productivity of the plantations was also not the best this year. Today, 90 hectares produce 2,400 boxes, when last year it reached 2,780. (NMCH)

Exporters and producers calculate how much the new official price of a banana box ought to be.

Both sectors await the call of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (Magap) to the negotiations table.

Although it is not an official announcement, some producers feel that the price should be $7, because current production costs are $6.10.

Exporters, meanwhile, will insist that it must stand at $5.50.



Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber