Argentina stops issuing permits to banana producers

The change of government in Argentina slowed the issuance of Advance Import Affidavits (DJAI), leaving nearly 30 banana producers in a state of uncertainty. According to the president of the Organization of Banana Producers from the Tropic, Agustin Conde, that region exports about 780 trucks of bananas per week to Argentina; but the government has only issued permits covering this week's shipments.

Conde said that, according to this, they would stop shipping more than 17,000 tons of that product starting next week. Each truck that goes to Argentina carries 1,000 boxes of bananas, each of which contains a total of 22 kilograms of bananas.

This media tried to contact the Embassy of Argentina in Bolivia but an official said the ambassador, Ariel Basteiro, had finished his mission in the country and ceased functions. They stated that there was a person in charge of business, but that she couldn't issue any statements and that the Bolivian government should be the one to speak about the subject.

The marketing manager of the Association of Banana Producers (Asproban), Humberto Alcocer, said the sector was in a critical situation and that some companies were no longer exporting because of a lack of affidavits.

According to Conde, the producers of the tropics and the Minister of Production, Veronica Ramos, had met a few weeks ago and agreed to have a meeting with the ambassador of Argentina. However, that meeting was canceled due to the change of government in the neighboring country.

Producers stated that it was a season with a high production and that there would be millions in losses if they are unable to export starting next week because all of the production would be discarded.

"This transition in Argentina is hurting us greatly, the losses are in the millions because there are companies and associations that have already invested in fertilizers and packaging, and there is no market to recuperate that investment," said Conde.

Last week, the president of the National Chamber of Exporters of Bolivia, Guillermo Pou Mont, estimated that the country's exports would fall by up to 33 percent at the end of the present administration. The businessman said that, in general, all sectors of the country had contracted and that the trend would continue in 2016.

Stopped trucks
The president of the Organization of Banana Producers from the Tropics, Agustin Conde, said there were 200 trucks loaded with bananas stationed in Yacuiba, because Argentina does not speed up customs so they can enter the country.

He said that Argentina's health control agency would return an entire load if they found more than 20 boxes of ripe banana. The economic loss for each truck would amount to nearly 8 or 9 dollars.

Source: Los Tiempos

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