Banana prices in Colombia are still under pressure. According to Dane statistics, in March 2022, shipments presented an 11% drop in the implicit export price; which concerns the sector and highlights the requests that the banana industry is demanding from foreign supermarkets.
"Unfortunately, we are still in the international markets with downward prices, as a result of the market's failure to recognize the effort to produce bananas that are environmentally, socially, and labor-wise sustainable. Prices have also fallen because markets are purchasing fruit that isn't as committed to these issues as ours, and because of the excessive supply due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine," stated Emerson Aguirre Medina, president of the Association of Banana Growers of Colombia (Augura).
Even though banana exports in 2021 increased by 10.4% totalling 2,234,555 tons, the sector has not managed to get the international market to recognize a fair price for this fruit, ignoring the quality and certification requirements imposed on Colombian bananas and the strong shock experienced by the agricultural industry with the arrival of the pandemic and the recent war between Russia and Ukraine, which increased the price of fertilizers and raw materials used in the production and packaging of bananas.
According to data and analysis from the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation), producing a box of Colombian bananas costs on average $7.80, a price that does not include the post-pandemic effects, such as the increases that have occurred in the purchase of supplies and maritime transport. Thus, and according to data collected with the guilds, in 2021, the average price of the 20-kilo box of national bananas stood at 8.75 dollars; in 2020, it stood at 8.15 dollars, and in 2019, at 8.54 dollars (a higher price than in 2020).
"We are already in figures that are not recognized via differential price. In addition, we have to deal with the increase in inputs prices, the high prices of inputs during the last year, and of course the issue of shipping, which is our only means of transport... it's a brief summary of the very complicated landscape that the agro-industry is facing. We are showcasing these urgent issues internationally, in different spaces. We need an increase in prices, just as European fruits have a readjustment in prices, and we need to stop the discrimination and use of bananas as a hook to enter supermarkets," the president of Augura stated.